Happiness on Tap: Piped Water Adoption in Urban Morocco
AbstractWe study the demand for household water connections in urban Morocco, and the effect of such connections on household welfare. In the northern city of Tangiers, among homeowners without a private connection to the city’s water grid, a random subset was offered a simplified procedure to purchase a household connection on credit (at a zero percent interest rate). Take-up was high, at 69%. Because all households in our sample had access to the water grid through free public taps (often located fairly close to their homes), household connections did not lead to any improvement in the quality of the water households consumed; and despite significant increase in the quantity of water consumed, we find no change in the incidence of waterborne illnesses. Nevertheless, we find that households are willing to pay a substantial amount of money to have a private tap at home. Being connected generates important time gains, which are used for leisure and social activities, rather than productive activities. Because water is often a source of tension between households, household connections improve social integration and reduce conflict. Overall, within 6 months, self-reported well-being improved substantially among households in the treatment group, despite the financial cost of the connection. Our results suggest that facilitating access to credit for households to finance lump sum quality-of-life investments can significantly increase welfare, even if those investments do not result in income or health gains.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2011013.
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Florencia Devoto & Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & William Parient� & Vincent Pons, 2012. "Happiness on Tap: Piped Water Adoption in Urban Morocco," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 68-99, November.
- Florencia Devoto & Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & William Pariente & Vincent Pons, 2011. "Happiness on Tap: Piped Water Adoption in Urban Morocco," NBER Working Papers 16933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Devoto, Florencia & Duflo, Esther & Dupas, Pascaline & Parienté, William & Pons, Vincent, 2011. "Happiness on Tap: Piped Water Adoption in Urban Morocco," CEPR Discussion Papers 8326, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-04-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-ARA-2011-04-16 (MENA - Middle East & North Africa)
- NEP-HAP-2011-04-16 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-LTV-2011-04-16 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-MFD-2011-04-16 (Microfinance)
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- Happiness on Tap: Piped Water Adoption in Urban Morocco
by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2011-04-25 13:21:43
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