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Access to Water, Women's Work, and Child Outcomes

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  • Gayatri Koolwal
  • Dominique van de Walle

Abstract

Poor rural women in the developing world spend considerable time collecting water. Do women living in places where more time is needed for water collection tend to participate less in income-earning market-based activities? Do the education outcomes of their children tend to be worse? We use micro data for nine developing countries to help address these questions. Our primary aim is to describe the patterns in the data rather than to infer causality, although we do treat the household-level access to water as endogenous, assuming that community-level access is exogenous conditional on a wide range of geographic factors. Better access to water is not found to be associated with greater off-farm paid work but is associated with less unpaid work for women. In countries where substantial gender gaps in schooling exist, both boys' and girls' enrollments also tend to be better.

Suggested Citation

  • Gayatri Koolwal & Dominique van de Walle, 2013. "Access to Water, Women's Work, and Child Outcomes," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(2), pages 369-405.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/668280
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mangyo, Eiji, 2008. "The effect of water accessibility on child health in China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1343-1356, September.
    2. Taryn Dinkelman, 2011. "The Effects of Rural Electrification on Employment: New Evidence from South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3078-3108, December.
    3. Frank Ellis, 2000. "The Determinants of Rural Livelihood Diversification in Developing Countries," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 289-302.
    4. C. Mark Blackden & Quentin Wodon, 2006. "Gender, Time Use, and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7214, April.
    5. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966.
    6. Kuiper, Marijke H. & Meijerink, Gerdien W. & Eaton, Derek J.F., 2006. "Rural Livelihoods: Interplay Between Farm Activities, Non-farm Activities and the Resource Base," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25442, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Ravallion, Martin, 2007. ""Achieving Child-Health-Related Millennium Development Goals: The Role of Infrastructure"--A Comment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 920-928, May.
    8. Blackden, Mark & Wodon, Quentin, 2006. "Gender, Time Use, and Poverty: Introduction," MPRA Paper 11080, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:153-164 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Céline Nauges & Jon Strand, 2017. "Water Hauling and Girls’ School Attendance: Some New Evidence from Ghana," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(1), pages 65-88, January.
    3. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano & da Silva, Luiz Pereira, 2014. "On gender and growth: The role of intergenerational health externalities and women's occupational constraints," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 132-147.
    4. Smith, Jo U. & Fischer, Anke & Hallett, Paul D. & Homans, Hilary Y. & Smith, Pete & Abdul-Salam, Yakubu & Emmerling, Hanna H. & Phimister, Euan, 2015. "Sustainable use of organic resources for bioenergy, food and water provision in rural Sub-Saharan Africa," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 903-917.
    5. Usman, Muhammed Abdella & Gerber, Nicolas & von Braun, Joachim, 2016. "The Impact of Drinking Water Quality and Sanitation Behavior on Child Health: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," Discussion Papers 241764, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).

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