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Housing, Health and Happiness

Author

Listed:
  • Matias Cattaneo

    (Department of Economics, University of Michigan)

  • Sebastian Galiani

    (Department of Economics, Washington University in St. Louis)

  • Paul Gertler

    (Haas Business School, University of California)

  • Sebastian Martinez

    (World Bank)

  • Rocio Titiunik

    (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California)

Abstract

Despite the importance of housing for people’s well-being, there is little evidence on the causal impact of housing and housing improvement programs on health and welfare. In this paper, we help to fill this gap by investigating the impact of a large-scale effort by the Mexican Government to replace dirt floors with cement floors on child health and adult happiness. We find that replacing dirt floors with cement floors significantly improves the health of young children. Specifically, we find significant decreases in the incidence of parasitic infestations, diarrhea, and the prevalence of anemia, and an improvement in children’s cognitive development. Additionally, we find that replacing dirt floors by cement floors significantly improves adult welfare, as measured by increased satisfaction with their housing and quality of life, as well as by lower scores on depression and perceived stress scales.

Suggested Citation

  • Matias Cattaneo & Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Sebastian Martinez & Rocio Titiunik, 2008. "Housing, Health and Happiness," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0074, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  • Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0074
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate

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