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Spring Cleaning: Rural Water Impacts, Valuation, and Property Rights Institutions

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  • Michael Kremer
  • Jessica Leino
  • Edward Miguel
  • Alix Peterson Zwane

Abstract

Using a randomized evaluation in Kenya, we measure health impacts of spring protection, an investment that improves source water quality. We also estimate households' valuation of spring protection and simulate the welfare impacts of alternatives to the current system of common property rights in water, which limits incentives for private investment. Spring infrastructure investments reduce fecal contamination by 66%, but household water quality improves less, due to recontamination. Child diarrhea falls by one quarter. Travel-cost based revealed preference estimates of households' valuations are much smaller than both stated preference valuations and health planners' valuations, and are consistent with models in which the demand for health is highly income elastic. We estimate that private property norms would generate little additional investment while imposing large static costs due to above-marginal-cost pricing, private property would function better at higher income levels or under water scarcity, and alternative institutions could yield Pareto improvements. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 126 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 145-205

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Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:126:y:2011:i:1:p:145-205

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Crow, Ben & Swallow, Brent & Asamba, Isabella, 2012. "Community Organized Household Water Increases Not Only Rural incomes, but Also Men’s Work," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 528-541.
  2. Borraz, Fernando & González, Nicolás & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2011. "Water Nationalization: network access, water quality, and health outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 8415, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Karapetyan, Deanna & d'Adda, Giovanna, 2014. "Determinants of conservation among the rural poor: A charitable contribution experiment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 74-87.
  4. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2012. "Community-based well maintenance in rural Haiti," Working Paper 1201, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  5. Shanti Gamper-Rabindran & Shakeeb Khan & Christopher Timmins, 2008. "The Impact of Piped Water Provision on Infant Mortality in Brazil: A Quantile Panel Data Approach," NBER Working Papers 14365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Corw, Ben & Swallow, Brent & Asamba, Isabella, 2012. "CommunityOrganizedHouseholdWaterIncreasesNot Only Rural incomes, but AlsoMen’sWork," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt0915j5fd, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
  7. Fernando Borraz Escames, 2011. "Water nationalization: network access, quality, and health outcomes," Working Papers 201126, Latin American and Caribbean Environmental Economics Program, revised 2011.
  8. Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas & Simone G. Schaner, 2012. "Price Subsidies, Diagnostic Tests, and Targeting of Malaria Treatment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," NBER Working Papers 17943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Duflo, Esther C. & Hanna, Rema N. & Greenstone, Michael, 2012. "Up in Smoke: The Influence of Household Behavior on the Long-Run Impact of Improved Cooking Stoves," Scholarly Articles 8694934, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  10. Charles I. Jones & Peter J. Klenow, 2010. "Beyond GDP? Welfare across Countries and Time," NBER Working Papers 16352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. John A. List & Michael K. Price, 2013. "Using Field Experiments in Environmental and Resource Economics," NBER Working Papers 19289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Nassima Rabhi, 2012. "Water partial privatization: access and quality consequences for urban areas in Senegal," Post-Print dumas-00811476, HAL.
  13. Whittington, Dale & Jeuland, Marc & Barker, Kate & Yuen, Yvonne, 2012. "Setting Priorities, Targeting Subsidies among Water, Sanitation, and Preventive Health Interventions in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1546-1568.
  14. Barde, Julia Alexa & Walkiewicz, Juliana, 2013. "The Impact of Access to Piped Drinking Water on Human Capital Formation - Evidence from Brasilian Primary Schools," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79808, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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