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Access to Improved Water Sources and Rural Productivity: Analytical Framework and Cross-country Evidence


  • Youssouf Kiendrebeogo


In this study we address the issue of access to drinking water in rural areas related to agricultural productivity performance. Considering an agricultural household model as our basic conceptual framework, we analyze the theoretical aspects of increasing the access rate to drinking water on agricultural productivity. First, we show that the increased access rate to drinking water is conducive to agricultural productivity due to increased intrinsic productivity of individuals and additional gain in time for agricultural production. Second, it transpires that the constraints on the access to drinking water may be costly in terms of decreased productivity and well-being of rural people. Furthermore, based on a sample of 27 African countries over the period 1990-2010, estimation results do not reject the assumption that increasing access to drinking water has a positive effect on rural productivity growth. This positive effect is reinforced by the presence of a better sanitation system, even after controlling for country-specific effects and for the characteristics of rural areas.
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Suggested Citation

  • Youssouf Kiendrebeogo, 2012. "Access to Improved Water Sources and Rural Productivity: Analytical Framework and Cross-country Evidence," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 24(2), pages 153-166, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:afrdev:v:24:y:2012:i:2:p:153-166 DOI: j.1467-8268.2012.00314.x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Amartya K. Sen, 1966. "Peasants and Dualism with or without Surplus Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 425-425.
    2. Lokshin, Michael & Glinskaya, Elena, 2008. "The effect of male migration for work on employment patterns of females in nepal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4757, The World Bank.
    3. Kevane, Michael & Wydick, Bruce, 2001. "Social Norms and the Time Allocation of Women's Labor in Burkina Faso," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 119-129, February.
    4. Alix Peterson Zwane & Michael Kremer, 2007. "What Works in Fighting Diarrheal Diseases in Developing Countries? A Critical Review," CID Working Papers 140, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    5. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
    6. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefanos Xenarios & Heracles Polatidis & Matthew McCartney & Attila Nemes, 2015. "Developing a User-Based Decision-Aid Framework for Water Storage Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Blue Nile Basin in Ethiopia," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(04), pages 1-30, December.
    2. Maha Kalai & Kamel Helali, 2016. "Technical Change and Total Factor Productivity Growth in the Tunisian Manufacturing Industry: A Malmquist Index Approach," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 28(3), pages 344-356, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling


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