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Village sanitation and children's human capital : evidence from a randomized experiment by the Maharashtra government

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  • Hammer, Jeffrey
  • Spears, Dean

Abstract

Open defecation is exceptionally widespread in India, a county with puzzlingly high rates of child stunting. This paper reports a randomized controlled trial of a village-level sanitation program, implemented in one district by the government of Maharashtra. The program caused a large but plausible average increase in child height (95 percent confidence interval [0.04 to 0.61] standard deviations), which is an important marker of human capital. The results demonstrate sanitation externalities: an effect even on children in households that did not adopt latrines. Unusually, surveyors also collected data in districts where the government planned but ultimately did not conduct an experiment, permitting analysis of the importance of the set eligible for randomization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6580.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6580

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Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Disease Control&Prevention; Population Policies; Hygiene Promotion and Social Marketing; Early Child and Children's Health;

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References

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  1. Santosh Kumar & Sebastian Vollmer, 2013. "Does Access To Improved Sanitation Reduce Childhood Diarrhea In Rural India?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(4), pages 410-427, 04.
  2. Tarozzi, Alessandro, 2008. "Growth reference charts and the nutritional status of Indian children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 455-468, December.
  3. Ibragimov, Rustam & Müller, Ulrich K., 2010. "t-Statistic Based Correlation and Heterogeneity Robust Inference," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(4), pages 453-468.
  4. Richard H. Steckel, 2008. "Heights and Human Welfare: Recent Developments and New Directions," NBER Working Papers 14536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. McKenzie, David, 2012. "Beyond baseline and follow-up: The case for more T in experiments," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 210-221.
  6. Zwane, A. P. & Zinman, J. & Van Dusen, E. & Pariente, W. & Null, C. & Miguel, E. & Kremer, Michael R. & Karlan, D. S. & Hornbeck, Richard A. & Gine, X. & Duflo, E. & Devoto, F. & Crepon, B. & Banerjee, 2011. "Being Surveyed Can Change Later Behavior and Related Parameter Estimates," Scholarly Articles 11339433, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Lant Pritchett & Salimah Samji & Jeffrey Hammer, 2012. "It‘s All About MeE: Using Structured Experiential Learning ('e') to Crawl the Design Space," Working Papers 1399, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  8. Das, Jishnu & Hammer, Jeffrey & Sánchez-Paramo, Carolina, 2012. "The impact of recall periods on reported morbidity and health seeking behavior," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 76-88.
  9. Watson, Tara, 2006. "Public health investments and the infant mortality gap: Evidence from federal sanitation interventions on U.S. Indian reservations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1537-1560, September.
  10. Michael Kremer, 2007. "What Works in Fighting Diarrheal Diseases in Developing Countries? A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 12987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Patil, Sumeet R. & Arnold, Benjamin F. & Salvatore, Alicia & Briceno, Bertha & Colford, Jr., John M. & Gertler, Paul J., 2013. "A randomized, controlled study of a rural sanitation behavior change program in Madhya Pradesh, India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6702, The World Bank.
  2. Spears, Dean, 2013. "How much international variation in child height can sanitation explain ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6351, The World Bank.
  3. Dean Spears, 2012. "How much international variation in child height can sanitation explain?," Working Papers 1436, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  4. Dean Spears, 2012. "How much international variation in child height can sanitation explain?," Working Papers 1438, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  5. Jeffrey S. Hammer, 2013. "Balancing Market and Government Failure in Service Delivery," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 18(Special E), pages 1-19, September.

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