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Behavior, Environment, and Health in Developing Countries: Evaluation and Valuation

  • Subhrendu K. Pattanayak
  • Alexander Pfaff

    ()

    (Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708
    Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708)

We consider health and environmental quality in developing countries, where limited resources constrain behaviors that combat enormously burdensome health challenges. We focus on four huge challenges that are preventable (i.e., are resolved in rich countries). We distinguish them as special cases in a general model of household behavior, which is critical and depends on risk information. Simply informing households may achieve a lot in the simplest challenge (groundwater arsenic); yet, for the three infectious situations discussed (respiratory, diarrhea, and malaria), community coordination and public provision may also be necessary. More generally, social interactions may justify additional policies. For each situation, we discuss the valuation of private spillovers (i.e., externalities) and evaluation of public policies to reduce environmental risks and spillovers. Finally, we reflect on open questions in our model and knowledge gaps in the empirical literature including the challenges of scaling up and climate change.

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File URL: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.resource.050708.144053
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Article provided by Annual Reviews in its journal Annual Review of Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (09)
Pages: 183-217

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Handle: RePEc:anr:reseco:v:1:y:2009:p:183-217
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