Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh: A Household Labor Market Approach
A major environmental tragedy of modern times is the widespread arsenic contamination of shallow drinking water wells in rural Bangladesh which went unrecognized for years. Large numbers of people are now starting to show a range of symptoms long associated with chronic arsenic exposure. Rural families in Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world, face financial risks from major illness both from the cost of medical care and from the loss of income associated with reduced labor supply and productivity. Because of the lack of comprehensive government assistance programs and formal insurance markets, most of these households have to rely on private, informal, insurance mechanisms. For the poor these typically take place at the household level. While arsenic-related health problems in Bangladesh have long received considerable attention (e.g., Smith, Lingas, and Rahman 2000), implications for the labor supply have not been examined. In this article, we look at the impacts of arsenic contamination on both the overall level of hours worked and the distribution of these hours within households. Using a large sample of rural households matched to arsenic exposure, we find (i) overall household labor supply is 8% smaller due to arsenic exposure and (ii) intra-household reallocation of work between males and females is used to self-insure against the risk induced by arsenic exposure.
|Date of creation:|
|Publication status:||Published in American Journal of Agricultural Economics|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 76, Patission Street, Athens 104 34|
Phone: (+301) 8214021
Fax: (301) 8214021
Web page: http://deos.aueb.gr/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Zivin, Joshua Graff & Thirumurthy, Harsha & Goldstein, Markus, 2009.
"AIDS treatment and intrahousehold resource allocation: Children's nutrition and schooling in Kenya,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 1008-1015, August.
- Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Harsha Thirumurthy & Markus Goldstein, 2006. "AIDS Treatment and Intrahousehold Resource Allocations: Children's Nutrition and Schooling in Kenya," NBER Working Papers 12689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Harsha Thirumurthy & Joshua Graff Zivin & Markus Goldstein, 2007. "AIDS Treatment and Intrahousehold Resource Allocations: Children's Nutrition and Schooling in Kenya," Working Papers 105, Center for Global Development.
- Skoufias, Emmanuel & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2003. "Consumption insurance and vulnerability to poverty," FCND briefs 155, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Skoufias, Emmanuel & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2003. "Consumption insurance and vulnerability to poverty," FCND discussion papers 155, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John, 1997. "Health and wages: Evidence on men and women in urban Brazil," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 159-185, March.
- Thomas, D. & Strauss, J., 1997. "Health and Wages: Evidence on Men and Women in Urban Brazil," Papers 97-05, RAND - Reprint Series.
- Giovanna d’Adda & Markus Goldstein & Joshua Zivin & Mabel Nangami & Harsha Thirumurthy, 2009. "ARV Treatment and Time Allocation to Household Tasks: Evidence from Kenya," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 21(1), pages 180-208.
- Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Are the poor less well insured? Evidence on vulnerability to income risk in rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 61-81, February.
- Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Are the poor less well-insured? Evidence on vulnerability to income risk in rural China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1863, The World Bank.
- Paul Gertler & Jonathan Gruber, 2002. "Insuring Consumption Against Illness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 51-70, March.
- Paul Gertler & Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Insuring Consumption Against Illness," NBER Working Papers 6035, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Paul Gertler & Jonathan Gruber, 1998. "Insuring Consumption Against Illness," JCPR Working Papers 41, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1990. "Estimating the Intrahousehold Incidence of Illness: Child Health and Gender-Inequality in the Allocation of Time," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(4), pages 969-980, November.
- Madajewicz, Malgosia & Pfaff, Alexander & van Geen, Alexander & Graziano, Joseph & Hussein, Iftikhar & Momotaj, Hasina & Sylvi, Roksana & Ahsan, Habibul, 2007. "Can information alone change behavior? Response to arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 731-754, November.
- Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Hassan, Md Nazmul, 1990. "Productivity, Health, and Inequality in the Intrahousehold Distribution of Food in Low-Income Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1139-1156, December.
- Pitt, Mark M. & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Hassan, Md. Nazmul, 1989. "Productivity, Health and Inequality in the Intrahousehold Distribution of Food in Low-Income Countries," Bulletins 7480, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.