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

  • Gayatri Koolwal
  • Dominique van de Walle

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.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/668280
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/668280
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 61 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 369-405

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/668280
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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  1. Frank Ellis, 2000. "The Determinants of Rural Livelihood Diversification in Developing Countries," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 289-302.
  2. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966, December.
  3. C. Mark Blackden & Quentin Wodon, 2006. "Gender, Time Use, and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7214.
  4. Blackden, Mark & Wodon, Quentin, 2006. "Gender, Time Use, and Poverty: Introduction," MPRA Paper 11080, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
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