Sammy Zahran

Sammy Zahran
Colorado State University | CSU · Department of Economics

About

74
Publications
30,828
Reads
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4,923
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2012 - present
Tulane University
January 2007 - December 2012
Colorado State University
January 2007 - December 2009
Texas A&M University

Publications

Publications (74)
Article
Casualties from natural disasters may depend on the day of the week they strike. With data from the Spatial Hazard Events and Losses Database for the United States (SHELDUS), daily variation in hurricane and tornado casualties from 5,043 tornado and 2,455 hurricane time/place events is analyzed. Hurricane forecasts provide at-risk populations with...
Article
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We investigate the accuracy of facility-reported data both within and across emissions and off-site transfer inventories of lead (Pb) in time. We build on recent work using Benford’s Law to detect statistical anomalies in large data sets. Our application exploits a regulatory experiment to test for systematic changes in firm behavior triggered by t...
Article
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Lead is a neurotoxin with developmentally harmful effects in children. In the United States, over half the current flow of lead into the atmosphere is attribut- able to lead-formulated aviation gasoline (avgas), used in a large fraction of piston- engine aircraft. Various public interest firms have petitioned the EPA to find endan- germent from and...
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The 2014-2015 Legionnaires' disease (LD) outbreak in Genesee County, MI, and the outbreak resolution in 2016 coincided with changes in the source of drinking water to Flint's municipal water system. Following the switch in water supply from Detroit to Flint River water, the odds of a Flint resident presenting with LD increased 6.3-fold (95% CI: 2.5...
Article
Analyzing whether physicians use cesarean sections (c-sections) as defensive medicine (DM) has proven difficult. Using natural experiments arising out of Oregon court decisions overturning a state legislative cap on non-economic damages in tort cases, we analyze the impact of patient conditions on estimates of DM. Consistent with theory, we find he...
Article
In this paper, we investigate the spillover departure delay effects of damaging wildlife strike events that occur to commercial passenger airlines on flights scheduled to depart in the 24 h following a damaging wildlife strike event. Employing multiple empirical approaches, and investigating various differential effects, we identify significant exc...
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By the end of spring (31 May), the COVID-19 death rate was remarkably unevenly distributed across the countries in Europe. While the risk of COVID-19 mortality is known to increase with age, age-specific COVID-19 death rates across Europe were similarly unevenly distributed. To explain these mortality distributions, we present a simple model where...
Preprint
Full-text available
The COVID-19 death rate (deaths over population) is strikingly unevenly distributed across Europe. While the risk of death from COVID-19 increases non-linearly in age, within-age-group variation in COVID-19 death rates across countries suggests that age structure alone cannot account for observed differences in COVID-19 mortality risk. Age-related...
Article
About one-fifth of the total housing stock in Detroit, Michigan is vacant, blighted or abandoned. Abandoned homes are particularly vulnerable to arson, with an estimated 20 such structures set ablaze each day. In 2011 the Fire Commissioner of Detroit announced a policy of fire non-suppression for abandoned structures. The policy is referred to as “...
Article
In February of 2016, the City of Flint, Michigan commenced the FAST start initiative with the aim "to get the lead out of Flint" by replacing lead and galvanized steel service lines throughout the city. An estimated 29,100 parcels are scheduled for service line replacement (SLR) at an expected cost of $172 million. The lead exposure benefits of SLR...
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The establishment of interventions to maximize maternal health requires the identification of modifiable risk factors. Toward the identification of modifiable hospital‐based factors, we analyze over 2 million births from 2005 to 2010 in Texas, employing a series of quasi‐experimental tests involving hourly, daily, and monthly circumstances where me...
Article
Background Broken Hill is home to Australia's oldest silver–zinc–lead mine. However, the precise source of childhood blood lead (PbB) exposures has been subject to considerable debate. Lead sources include natural soil Pb enrichment, legacy deposition, contemporary mining emissions, and Pb-based paint. Objective To test whether contemporary mining...
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Studies find that per capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions decrease with household size and urban density. The demographic trends of declining household size and dense urbanization therefore produce countervailing effects with respect to emissions. We posit that both household and urban economies are driven by proximity and realized through sharin...
Article
When citizens hold multiple values relevant to their policy opinions, they might experience value conflict, value reconciliation or make a value trade-off. Yet, it is unclear which individuals are able to manage their multiple values in these ways. We posit a sophistication-interaction theory of value pluralism where the most politically sophistica...
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The Flint Water Crisis (FWC) is divisible into four phases of child water-lead exposure risk: Phase A) before the switch in water source to the Flint River (our baseline); Phase B) after the switch in water source, but before boil water advisories; Phase C) after boil water advisories, but before the switch back to the baseline water source of the...
Article
Background: The age standardized death rate from motor neuron disease (MND) for persons 40-84 years of age in the Australian States of New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland increased dramatically from 1958 to 2013. Nationally, age-specific MND death rates also increased over this time period, but the rate of the rise varied considerably by age...
Article
A dynamic spatial computable general equilibrium (DSCGE) model is constructed that describes how engineering and economic models can be integrated to assess the economic, demographic, and fiscal impacts of disasters. This paper has two objectives. First, we introduce the DSCGE model and describe how it is calibrated specifically for Centerville. Se...
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Arsenic, cadmium and lead in aerosols, dusts and surface soils from Australia’s oldest continuous lead mining town of Broken Hill were compared to standardised national childhood developmental (year 1) and education performance measures (years 3,5,7,9). Contaminants close to mining operations were elevated with maximum lead levels in soil: 8,900 mg...
Article
In the United States, average household size decreased significantly over the past half century. From 1950 to 2010, the number of households increased 72% faster than population size. In this paper we consider how this drift toward more and smaller households, occurring alongside rising affluence, undermines efforts to curb carbon dioxide (CO2) emi...
Article
Washing and wet mopping is often advocated as a remedial treatment to limit exposure to lead dust. Here, surface and pre- and post-play wipes were measured to ascertain dust metal exposures (arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead and zinc) following play routines at four playgrounds in the smelter city of Port Pirie, South Australia, which are washed regul...
Chapter
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This study evaluates atmospheric concentrations of soil and Pb aerosols, and blood lead levels (BLLs) in 367 839 children (ages 0−10) in Detroit, Michigan from 2001 to 2009 to test a hypothesized soil → air dust → child pathway of contemporary Pb risk. Atmospheric soil and Pb show near-identical seasonal properties that match seasonal variation in...
Article
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Roughly 20 percent of current CO2 emissions will likely remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years (Solomon et al. 2008). Despite this, climate damages attributable to current emissions that occur beyond 150 years or so have almost no effect on the current optimal carbon tax in typical integrated assessment models. The source of this strong re...
Article
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Research links psychosocial stress to premature telomere shortening and accelerated human aging; however, this association has only been demonstrated in so-called “WEIRD” societies (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic), where stress is typically lower and life expectancies longer. By contrast, we examine stress and telomere shor...
Article
We examine the contribution to economic growth of entrepreneurial marketplace information within a regional endogenous growth framework. Entrepreneurs are posited to provide an input to economic growth through the information revealed by their successes and failures. We empirically identify this information source with the regional variation in est...
Article
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Roughly 20 percent of current CO2 emissions will likely remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years (IPCC 2007). Despite this, climate damages attributable to current emissions that occur beyond 150 years or so have almost no effect on the current optimal carbon tax in typical inte-grated assessment models. The source of this strong result is c...
Article
Disaster damage levels are matched to county-level nonprofit activity indicators. Using dynamic panel-data estimation, nonprofit net assets (and nonprofit revenue to a lesser extent) defined at this local level are found to be positively correlated with disaster event damage levels, consistent with a post-disaster giving mechanism. Magnitudes are r...
Article
The majority of research documenting the public health impacts of natural disasters focuses on the well-being of adults and their living children. Negative effects may also occur in the unborn, exposed to disaster stressors when critical organ systems are developing and when the consequences of exposure are large. We exploit spatial and temporal va...
Article
The relatively low level of concern about climate change among Americans has important implications for climate policy. While many studies have examined individual characteristics associated with climate change attitudes, fewer studies have considered the effects of environmental conditions on such attitudes. Here, we use two national samples of Am...
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Objectives: We analyzed singleton births to determine the relationship between birth weight and altitude exposure. Methods: We analyzed 715,213 singleton births across 74 counties from the western states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2000....
Article
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Interior and exterior dust, soil and paint were analysed at five brick urban Sydney homes over 15 months to evaluate temporal variations and discriminate sources of lead (Pb) exposure. Exterior dust gauge Pb loading rates (μg/m(2)/28 days), interior vacuum dust Pb concentrations (mg/kg) and interior petri-dish Pb loading rates (μg/m(2)/28 days), we...
Article
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Soil lead in urban neighborhoods is a known predictor of child blood lead levels. In this paper, we address the question where one ought to concentrate soil sample collection efforts to efficiently predict children at-risk for soil Pb exposure. Two extensive data sets are combined, including 5467 surface soil samples collected from 286 census tract...
Article
Full-text available
This study evaluates atmospheric concentrations of soil and Pb aerosols, and blood lead levels (BLLs) in 367 839 children (ages 0-10) in Detroit, Michigan from 2001 to 2009 to test a hypothesized soil → air dust → child pathway of contemporary Pb risk. Atmospheric soil and Pb show near-identical seasonal properties that match seasonal variation in...
Article
Full-text available
Hurricane Andrew, which made landfall on August 24, 1992, was one of the most destructive hurricanes in American history, causing atypically high levels of psychological and physical health impairment among the resident population and especially among vulnerable groups. This article investigates whether maternal exposure to Hurricane Andrew during...
Article
In New Orleans a strong inverse association was previously identified between community soil lead and 4th grade school performance. This study extends the association to zinc, cadmium, nickel, manganese, copper, chromium, cobalt, and vanadium in community soil and their comparative effects on 4th grade school performance. Adjusting for poverty, foo...
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We evaluate air Pb emissions and latent aggravated assault behavior at the scale of the city. We accomplish this by regressing annual Federal Bureau of Investigation aggravated assault rate records against the rise and fall of annual vehicle Pb emissions in Chicago (Illinois), Indianapolis (Indiana), Minneapolis (Minnesota), San Diego (California),...
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a b s t r a c t Soils in older areas of cities are highly contaminated by lead, due largely to past use of lead additives in gasoline, the use of lead in exterior paints, and industrial lead sources. Soils are not passive repositories and periodic re-suspension of fine lead contaminated soil dust particulates (or aerosols) may create seasonal varia...
Article
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Lindeman et al. [1212. Lindeman , R. H. , Merenda , P. F. and Gold , R. Z. 1980 . Introduction to Bivariate and Multivariate Analysis , Glenview, IL : Scott Foresman . View all references] provide a unique solution to the relative importance of correlated predictors in multiple regression by averaging squared semi-partial correlations obtained for...
Article
We investigate the relationship between maternal exposure to benzene and birth weight outcomes for resident births in the United States in 1996 and 1999, taking advantage of a natural experiment afforded by the regulation of benzene content of gasoline in various American cities. Regression results show that a unit increase (μg/m(3)) in maternal ex...
Article
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Previous studies identified a curvilinear association between aggregated blood lead (BL) and soil lead (SL) data in New Orleans census tracts. In this study we investigate the relationships between SL (mg/kg), age of child, and BL (μg/dL) of 55,551 children in 280 census tracts in metropolitan New Orleans, 2000 to 2005. Analyses include random effe...
Article
We investigate the relationship between exposure to Hurricanes Katrina and/or Rita and mental health resilience by vulnerability status, with particular focus on the mental health outcomes of single mothers versus the general public. We advance a measurable notion of mental health resilience to disaster events. We also calculate the economic costs...
Article
In Mozambique, domestic energy is often composed of a mix of sources, primarily used for lighting and cooking, with biomass and kerosene as more common sources. Electrification programs, intended to connect new consumers countrywide, have not significantly contributed either to the intensification of electricity consumption or to the reduction of t...
Article
Logistic regression and spatial analytic techniques are used to model fetal distress risk as a function of maternal exposure to Hurricane Andrew. First, monthly time series compare the proportion of infants born distressed in hurricane affected and unaffected areas. Second, resident births are analyzed in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, before, du...
Article
A basic proposition of ‘agency theory’ is that output-based performance incentives encourage greater effort. However, studies find that incentive schemes can distort effort if rewards for performance are discrete or non-linear. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Community Rating System (CRS) is a flood mitigation programme with a non-...
Article
Full-text available
Climate scientists have played a significant role in investigating global climate change. In the USA, a debate has swirled about whether a consensus on climate change exists among reputable scientists and this has entered the policy process. In order to better understand the views of US climate scientists, we conducted an empirical survey of US cli...
Article
Prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (HKR), significant associations were noted between soil lead (SL) and blood lead (BL) in New Orleans. Engineering failure of New Orleans levees and canal walls after HKR set the stage for a quasi-experiment to evaluate BL responses by 13 306 children to reductions in SL. High density soil surveying conducted in...
Article
A basic proposition of 'agency theory' is that output-based performance incentives encourage greater effort. However, studies find that incentive schemes can distort effort if rewards for performance are discrete or non-linear. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Community Rating System (CRS) is a flood mitigation programme with a non-...
Article
Full-text available
The reporting of measures of effect size has become increasingly important in psychology. A Monte Carlo resampling permutation procedure is introduced to find near-optimum maximum values for Stuart’s τc measure for two-way ordinal contingency tables, also termed Kendall’s τc since Kendall introduced τa and τb . Comparisons between resampling and ex...
Article
This study analyzes pre-Katrina variation in aggregate student performance and children's blood lead (BPb) in 117 elementary school districts in metropolitan New Orleans. Fourth grade student achievement on Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) tests were analyzed as a function of BPb for children 1-6 years old within school districts, co...
Article
We analyze household flood insurance purchases in Florida from 1999 to 2005, and the extent to which household insurance purchases correspond with flood mitigation activities by local governments involved in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Community Rating System (CRS). Regression results indicate that household flood insurance pur...
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Full-text available
This study analyzes the spatial distribution of crime outcomes at the county scale in Florida as a function of natural disasters. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and conditional fixed effects negative binomial statistical techniques are used. Four crime outcomes are analyzed: index crimes, property crimes, violent crimes, and domestic violence...
Article
Floods continue to inflict the most damage upon human communities among all natural hazards in the United States. Because localized flooding tends to be spatially repetitive over time, local decisionmakers often have an opportunity to learn from previous events and make proactive policy adjustments to reduce the adverse effects of a subsequent stor...
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Problem: Solar energy has potential to solve many types of planning problems. Knowing where existing household solar energy users are located and what factors explain this distribution can help craft appropriate local policies. Purpose: This study analyzes the spatial distribution of households who heat their homes with solar energy across the cont...
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Although there is a growing body of research examining public perceptions of global climate change, little work has focused on the role of place and proximity in shaping these perceptions. This study extends previous conceptual models explaining risk perception associated with global climate change by adding a spatial dimension. Specifically, Geogr...
Article
This study examines the factors motivating local jurisdictions in the United States (U.S.) to voluntarily adopt policies that mitigate the anthropogenic sources of climate change when there are powerful political and economic incentives to do otherwise. Specifically, we explain adoption of the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) program at the coun...
Article
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We examine the reasons why a US locality would voluntarily commit to the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) campaign. Using geographic information systems analytic techniques, we map and measure a locality’s vulnerability to climate-change impacts at the county level of spatial precision. We analyze multiple measures of climate-change vulnerabilit...
Article
Studies on the impacts of hurricanes, tropical storms, and tornados indicate that poor communities of colour suffer disproportionately in human death and injury.(2) Few quantitative studies have been conducted on the degree to which flood events affect socially vulnerable populations. We address this research void by analysing 832 countywide flood...
Article
Floods continue to pose the greatest threat to the property and safety of human communities among all natural hazards in the United States. This study examines the relationship between the built environment and flood impacts in Texas, which consistently sustains the most damage from flooding of any other state in the country. Specifically, we calcu...
Article
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Climate change and mitigation policies adopted by a locality indelibly impact urban form, landscape, and economy. The Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) has become a dominant movement organizing the localities to proactively address climate change. This study examines metropolitan area commitment to the CCP. Geographic information systems (GIS) an...
Article
Despite the growing scientific consensus about the risks of global warming and climate change, the mass media frequently portray the subject as one of great scientific controversy and debate. And yet previous studies of the mass public's subjective assessments of the risks of global warming and climate change have not sufficiently examined public i...
Article
This study examines the distribution of commercial treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) of hazardous waste in the southeast. Four hypotheses are tested: (1) economic rationality, (2) social inequity, (3) civic capital, and (4) scientific rationality. The data set is a match of records on operational TSDFs and large quantity generator...
Article
This research note examines children's mortality resulting from forces of nature, including heat exposure, cold exposure, storms and flooding, lightning strikes, avalanches, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Data indicate that in the United States, children's risk of death resulting from natural disasters is relatively low. However, differential...
Article
The rising economic cost of floods in the United States cannot be explained solely by monetary inflation or growth in coastal populations. Damaging flood events are also influenced by the way society plans for and physically develops its communities, influencing where structures and impervious surfaces are concentrated and how hydrological systems...