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Housing, Health and Happiness

  • 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)

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.

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File URL: http://cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/archivos_upload/doc_cedlas74.pdf
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Paper provided by CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata in its series CEDLAS, Working Papers with number 0074.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0074
Contact details of provider: Postal: Calle 48 No555 - La Plata (1900)
Phone: 21- 1466
Fax: 54-21-25-9536
Web page: http://cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/

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  1. Takeuchi, Akie & Cropper, Maureen & Bento, Antonio, 2006. "The welfare effects of slum improvement programs : the case of Mumbai," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3852, The World Bank.
  2. James J. Heckman & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2007. "The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children ," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 29(3), pages 446-493.
  3. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
  4. Lee Cronbach, 1951. "Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 297-334, September.
  5. Kaufmann, Daniel & Quigley, John M., 1987. "The consumption benefits of investment in infrastructure : The evaluation of sites-and-services programs in underdeveloped countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 263-284, April.
  6. Christina Paxson & Norbert Schady, 2005. "Cognitive Development Among Young Children in Ecuador: The Roles of Wealth, Health and Parenting," Working Papers 239, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  7. Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2002. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Working Papers 54, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Sep 2005.
  8. Doug Miller & A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach, 2006. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," Working Papers 621, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  9. World Bank, 2002. "World Development Indicators 2002," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13921.
  10. Edgar O. Olsen, 2003. "Housing Programs for Low-Income Households," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 365-442 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Emmanuel Jimenez, 1983. "The Magnitude and Determinants of Home Improvement in Self-Help Housing: Manila's Tondo Project," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 59(1), pages 70-83.
  12. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Moving To Opportunity In Boston: Early Results Of A Randomized Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 607-654, May.
  13. Behrman, Jere R, 1996. "The Impact of Health and Nutrition on Education," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 23-37, February.
  14. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
  16. H. Kelejian, Harry & Prucha, Ingmar R., 2001. "On the asymptotic distribution of the Moran I test statistic with applications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 219-257, September.
  17. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  18. repec:wbk:wbpubs:12426 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
  20. Paul Gertler, 2004. "Do Conditional Cash Transfers Improve Child Health? Evidence from PROGRESA's Control Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 336-341, May.
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