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Down with diarrhea - Using fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design to link communal water supply with health

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Abstract

This paper contributes to the existing literature by demonstrating that the provision of communal water supply can be effective in improving child health if the targeted population shows adequate hygiene awareness and behavior. Until now, the fast growing body of literature on water development interventions could not establish a significant effect of communal water supply on health. The insignificant health effect regarding communal water supply (in contrast to other types of water interventions) found in meta-studies may be explained by recontamination of the water between the source and the point of use; and by the lack of studies which address the mode of selection into treatment of water programs which may result in biased estimates. To identify the health effect of communal water supply, a fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design set-up is applied using an eligibility criterion as source of exogenous variation. The paper also provides practical insights in a little explored extension of the fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design which may have great relevance for applied research. As occurs often in practice, the forcing variable determining treatment could not be directly observed. For this reason, a slightly noisy measure was reconstructed. To convince the critical reader of the validity of this approach, a variety of robustness checks are carried out and the results are cross-validated through two additional identification strategies - a village fixed effects and an instrumental variable approach.

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Paper provided by Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies in its series IHEID Working Papers with number 05-2012.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 26 Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gii:giihei:heidwp05-2012

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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce I. Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2002. "The Social Multiplier," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1968, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Gunther, Isabel & Fink, Gunther, 2010. "Water, sanitation and children's health : evidence from 172 DHS surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5275, The World Bank.
  3. Gamper-Rabindran, Shanti & Khan, Shakeeb & Timmins, Christopher, 2010. "The impact of piped water provision on infant mortality in Brazil: A quantile panel data approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 188-200, July.
  4. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Does piped water reduce diarrhea for children in rural India?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 153-173, January.
  5. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  6. Edward Miguel & Gerard Roland, 2006. "The Long Run Impact of Bombing Vietnam," NBER Working Papers 11954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Shanti Gamper-Rabindran & Shakeeb Khan & Christopher Timmins, 2010. "The Impact of Piped Water Provision on Infant Mortality in Brazil: A Quantile Panel Data Approach," Working Papers 10-04, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  8. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
  9. Graham, Bryan S. & Hahn, Jinyong, 2005. "Identification and estimation of the linear-in-means model of social interactions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-6, July.
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