Playing in Invisible Markets: Innovations in the Market for Toilets to Harness the Economic Power of the Poor
AbstractSanitation is at the heart of not only environmental security but also food security and health. Today about 41% of the global population or about 2.6 billion people do not have access to toilets and about 42,000 people die every week due to drinking water polluted with faecal matter. The problem is most acute in India, China, many countries of Africa and a few countries of Latin America. Why is there such a crisis in the toilets market? How much of the present problem is due to a lack of supply and how much is it due to a lack of demand? What is the optimal role of the State, the firms and the NPOs? The present paper attempts to give some insight on the above questions through the case study of the market for toilets for the poor in India. It examines the toilet history and achievements of India, the innovations in the market for toilets targeting the group at the bottom of the income pyramid and the factors that influence the adoption and usage of toilets in an Indian coastal village, in order to infer answers to the above questions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by United Nations University, Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology in its series UNU-MERIT Working Paper Series with number 012.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://www.merit.unu.edu
Toilets; Innovation; India; Health; Hygiene; Sanitation; BOP; Income Inequality; Empowerment; Entrepreneurship; Government Policy;
Other versions of this item:
- Ramani, Shyama V., 2008. "Playing in Invisible Markets: Innovations in the Market for Toilets to Harness the Economic Power of the Poor," MERIT Working Papers 012, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
- H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
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- Soete, Luc, 2012.
"Maastricht Reflections on Innovation,"
UNU-MERIT Working Paper Series
001, United Nations University, Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology.
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