THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN MOBILE PHONES AND THE RISK OF BRAIN CANCER MORTALITY: A 25‐YEAR CROSS‐COUNTRY ANALYSIS

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between cell phones and brain cancer using brain cancer death rates for 88 countries between 1990 and 2015 from the World Health Organization and country‐level mobile phone subscription rates from the World Bank. We estimate difference‐in‐difference models including country and year fixed effects and time‐varying country covariates. We find that mobile phone subscription rates are positively and statistically significantly associated with death rates from brain cancer 15–20 years later. In falsification tests, we find few positive associations between mobile phone subscription rates and deaths from rectal, pancreatic, stomach, breast or lung cancer or ischemic heart disease. Finally, differential effects models suggest that mobile phone subscription rates are associated with brain cancer deaths 15–19 years later relative to deaths from other causes. (JEL I15, O33)

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/coep.12456