Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh: A Household Labor Market Approach
AbstractA major environmental tragedy of modern times is the widespread arsenic contamination of shallow drinking water wells in rural Bangladesh which went unrecognized for years. Large numbers of people are now starting to show a range of symptoms long associated with chronic arsenic exposure. Rural families in Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world, face financial risks from major illness both from the cost of medical care and from the loss of income associated with reduced labor supply and productivity. Because of the lack of comprehensive government assistance programs and formal insurance markets, most of these households have to rely on private, informal, insurance mechanisms. For the poor these typically take place at the household level. While arsenic-related health problems in Bangladesh have long received considerable attention (e.g., Smith, Lingas, and Rahman 2000), implications for the labor supply have not been examined. In this article, we look at the impacts of arsenic contamination on both the overall level of hours worked and the distribution of these hours within households. Using a large sample of rural households matched to arsenic exposure, we find (i) overall household labor supply is 8% smaller due to arsenic exposure and (ii) intra-household reallocation of work between males and females is used to self-insure against the risk induced by arsenic exposure.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Athens University of Economics and Business in its series DEOS Working Papers with number 1130.
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- Richard T. Carson & Phoebe Koundouri & Céline Nauges, 2010. "Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh: A Household Labor Market Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(2), pages 407-414.
- Richard T. Carson & Phoebe Koundouri & NAUGES CÃ©line, 2009. "Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh A Household Labor Market Approach," LERNA Working Papers 09.25.301, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
- Carson, Richard T & Koundouri, Phoebe & Nauges, CÃ©line, 2009. "Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh: A Houseold Labor Market Approach," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt5112208j, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
- Phoebe Koundouri & Richard Carson & CÃƒÂ©line Nauges, . "Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh: A Household Labor Market Approach," DEOS Working Papers 1029, Athens University of Economics and Business.
- Carson, Richard T. & Koundouri, Phoebe & Nauges, Céline, 2009. "Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh: A Household Labor Market Approach," TSE Working Papers 09-106, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
- Koundouri, Phoebe & Carson, Richard & Nauges, Céline, 2010. "Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh: A Household Labor Market Approach," MPRA Paper 38275, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
- Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
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