Poisoning the mind: Arsenic contamination of drinking water wells and children's educational achievement in rural Bangladesh
AbstractBangladesh has experienced the largest mass poisoning of a population in history owing to contamination of groundwater with naturally occurring inorganic arsenic. Prolonged drinking of such water risks development of diseases and therefore has implications for children's cognitive and psychological development. This study examines the effect of arsenic contamination of tubewells, the primary source of drinking water at home, on the learning outcome of school-going children in rural Bangladesh using recent nationally representative data on secondary school children. We unambiguously find a negative and statistically significant correlation between mathematics scores and arsenic-contaminated drinking tubewells at home, net of the child's socio-economic status, parental background and school specific unobserved correlates of learning. Similar correlations are found for an alternative measure of student achievement and subjective well-being (i.e. self-reported measure of life satisfaction), of the student. We conclude by discussing the policy implication of our findings in the context of the current debate over the adverse effect of arsenic poisoning on children.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.
Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev
Drinking water pollution Schooling Subjective well-being Bangladesh;
Other versions of this item:
- Asadullah, Niaz & Chaudhury, Nazmul, 2011. "Poisoning the Mind: Arsenic Contamination of Drinking Water Wells and Children's Educational Achievement in Rural Bangladesh," IZA Discussion Papers 5716, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Batista Gomes, J. & Hanushek, E.A. & Helio Leite, R., 1992.
"Health and Schooling: Evidence and Policy Implications for Developping Countries,"
RCER Working Papers
306, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Gomes-Neto, Joao Batista & Hanushek, Eric A. & Leite, Raimundo Helio & Frota-Bezzera, Roberto Claudio, 1997. "Health and schooling: Evidence and policy implications for developing countries," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 271-282, June.
- Mohammad Niaz Asadullah & Nazmul Chaudhury, 2009. "Holy alliances: public subsidies, Islamic high schools, and female schooling in Bangladesh," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 377-394.
- Sun, Ang & Yao, Yang, 2010. "Health shocks and children's school attainments in rural China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 375-382, June.
- Kaestner, Robert & Grossman, Michael, 2009.
"Effects of weight on children's educational achievement,"
Economics of Education Review,
Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 651-661, December.
- Robert Kaestner & Michael Grossman, 2008. "Effects of Weight on Children's Educational Achievement," NBER Working Papers 13764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993.
"Beauty and the Labor Market,"
NBER Working Papers
4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Corman, Hope & Chaikind, Stephen, 1998. "The effect of low birthweight on the school performance and behavior of school-aged children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 307-316, June.
- Hassan, M. Manzurul & Atkins, Peter J. & Dunn, Christine E., 2005. "Social implications of arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(10), pages 2201-2211, November.
- Madajewicz, Malgosia & Pfaff, Alexander & van Geen, Alexander & Graziano, Joseph & Hussein, Iftikhar & Momotaj, Hasina & Sylvi, Roksana & Ahsan, Habibul, 2007. "Can information alone change behavior? Response to arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 731-754, November.
- Marcotte, Dave E. & Hemelt, Steven W., 2007.
"Unscheduled School Closings and Student Performance,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2923, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Dave E. Marcotte & Steven W. Hemelt, 2008. "Unscheduled School Closings and Student Performance," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 3(3), pages 316-338, July.
- Michael Grossman, 2008. "The Relationship Between Health and Schooling," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(3), pages 281-292.
- Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
- Ding, Weili & Lehrer, Steven F. & Rosenquist, J.Niels & Audrain-McGovern, Janet, 2009. "The impact of poor health on academic performance: New evidence using genetic markers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 578-597, May.
- Mohammad Niaz Asadullah (Reading University), Nazmul Chaudhury (World Bank) and Amit Dar (World Bank), .
"Student Achievement Conditioned Upon School Selection: Religious and Secular Secondary School Quality in Bangladesh,"
QEH Working Papers
qehwps140, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
- Niaz Asadullah, Mohammad & Chaudhury, Nazmul & Dar, Amit, 2007. "Student achievement conditioned upon school selection: Religious and secular secondary school quality in Bangladesh," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 648-659, December.
- Perri, Timothy J., 1984. "Health status and schooling decisions of young men," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 207-213, June.
- Zhao, Meng & Glewwe, Paul, 2010. "What determines basic school attainment in developing countries? Evidence from rural China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 451-460, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.