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Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh: A Household Labor Market Approach

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  • Richard T. Carson
  • Phoebe Koundouri
  • Céline Nauges

Abstract

A major environmental tragedy of modern times is the widespread arsenic contamination of shallow drinking water wells in Bangladesh. High levels of arsenic present in many wells went unrecognized for years. Now large numbers of people show a range of symptoms associated with chronic arsenic exposure. Most of the economics literature follows an epidemiological approach effectively monetizing a dose response relation. We take a different approach, given widespread exposure, and examine impacts on household labor supply. We find significant effects broadly consistent with available epidemiological information in terms of the percent of the population impacted and which demographic groups are most impacted. The nature of the arsenic contamination provides a high quality statistical instrument that identifies a labor supply reduction of over 8%. Particular attention is paid to large substitution effects involving within household labor supply as this is the primary means of insurance among poor households in developing countries.
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(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Richard T. Carson & Phoebe Koundouri & Céline Nauges, 2010. "Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh: A Household Labor Market Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(2), pages 407-414.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:93:y:2010:i:2:p:407-414
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ajae/aaq110
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2004. "Consumption insurance and vulnerability to poverty : a synthesis of the evidence from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Mali, Mexico and Russia," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 29141, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hanna, Rema & Oliva, Paulina, 2015. "The effect of pollution on labor supply: Evidence from a natural experiment in Mexico City," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 68-79.
    2. Stefano Bosi & David Desmarchelier & Lionel Ragot, 2015. "Preferences and pollution cycles," EconomiX Working Papers 2015-36, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    3. Chowdhury, Shyamal & Krause, Annabelle & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2015. "Arsenic Contamination of Drinking Water and Mental Health," CEPR Discussion Papers 10978, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2016. "Health shocks and well-being," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 59(1), pages 155-164, March.
    5. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2012. "The Impact of Pollution on Worker Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3652-3673, December.
    6. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2013. "Environment, Health, and Human Capital," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 689-730, September.
    7. Stefano Bosi & David Desmarchelier & Lionel Ragot, 2015. "Pollution effects on labor supply and growth," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 11(4), pages 371-388, December.
    8. Tom Chang & Joshua Graff Zivin & Tal Gross & Matthew Neidell, 2016. "Particulate Pollution and the Productivity of Pear Packers," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 141-169, August.
    9. Stefano Bosi & David Desmarchelier, 2016. "Pollution and infectious diseases," Working Papers 2016.22, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    10. repec:spr:izalbr:v:6:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40172-017-0055-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Marion Drut & Aurélie Mahieu, 2015. "Correcting agglomeration economies: How air pollution matters," ERSA conference papers ersa15p507, European Regional Science Association.
    12. Cozzi, Guido & Galli, Silvia & Mantovan, Noemi, 2017. "Will a Shrink Make you Richer? Gender Differences in the Effects of Psychotherapy on Labour Efficiency," MPRA Paper 81597, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Marion Drut & Aurélie Mahieux, 2014. "Correcting agglomeration economies: How air pollution matters," Working Papers hal-01007019, HAL.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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