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Better Access to Water Raises Welfare, But Not Women’s Off-Farm Work


  • Koolwal, Gayatri

    () (World Bank)

  • van de Walle, Dominique

    () (World Bank)


In the developing world, poor rural women and their children spend considerable time collecting water. Do women living in areas 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? This note uses microdata for eight developing countries to examine these questions. Better access to water is not found to be associated with greater off-farm paid work for women, but is associated with less unpaid work. In countries where substantial gender gaps in schooling exist, enrollment for both boys and girls tends to be higher.

Suggested Citation

  • Koolwal, Gayatri & van de Walle, Dominique, 2011. "Better Access to Water Raises Welfare, But Not Women’s Off-Farm Work," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 67, pages 1-4, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:prmecp:ep67

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nadeem Ilahi & Franque Grimard, 2000. "Public Infrastructure and Private Costs: Water Supply and Time Allocation of Women in Rural Pakistan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 45-76.
    2. Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Human resources: Empirical modeling of household and family decisions," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 1883-2023 Elsevier.
    3. Strauss, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Empirical Modeling of Household and Family Decisions," Papers 95-12, RAND - Reprint Series.
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    More about this item


    rural; women; agriculture; water; welfare; income; developing countries; education; gender gaps; schooling;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development


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