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Health and Economic Effects of Piped Water

  • 2011
  • Dissertation
Peet, Evan

City: Durham, NC

Publisher/Institution: Duke University

Abstract: Estimates are that only 2 US dollars per person is being invested annually on water and sanitation in Indonesia, far less than other low and middle-income countries. (The Water Dialogues 2009. Previous studies have been unable to determine piped water’s impact on an individual’s health and economic prosperity because of data limitations. My research explores these individual level impacts as well as gender differential effects by exploiting the quasi-experimental variation created by the gradual expansion of piped water services in Indonesia over the past decades. I will analyze the effects of piped water on infant mortality, the long term effects on later life health and economic outcomes and how those effects differ by gender. Clean water is critical to maintaining proper hygiene during childbirth and therefore readily available safe water could result in decreased maternal and infant mortality. The data and the quasi-experimental variation created by the gradual introduction of piped water in Indonesia allow my research to fill at least three voids in the current literature. First, the Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS) contains individual level data whereas the current literature uses mostly community level data without measures of individual health or economic status. Second, with individual data I am able to disentangle the differential effects of piped water on men and women. Third, because of the panel structure of IFLS I am able to exploit the quasi-experimental variation and control for household fixed effects to attain a plausibly exogenous identification strategy.

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