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Water, health, and income

  • Hoddinott, John

This paper examines the impact of improved water access on health and incomes in the developing world, drawing on contributions from public health, economics, and anthropology. It argues that the "biological" pathways are reasonably well understood, with the effectiveness of interventions being ordered in the following way: improved household sanitation and hygiene practices; improvements in both quality and quantity of water supplies; increased quantity of water consumed and better water quality. However, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts; knowledge of hygienic practices plus improvements in sanitation plus use of greater quantities of water tend to lead to the largest improvements in health. By contrast, the "economic" pathways are less well understood. The full economic returns to investing in improved water access have not been determined, nor is the distributional impact of water access known, either across or within households. Although it is possible to order these interventions in terms of effectiveness, this ranking omits any consideration of cost.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series FCND discussion papers with number 25.

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Date of creation: 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcnddp:25
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  1. Thomas, D. & Strauss, J., 1990. "Prices, Infrastructure, Household Charasteristics And Child Height," Papers 602, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
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  3. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre & Haddad, Lawrence & Hoddinott, John & Kanbur, Ravi, 1993. "Unitary versus collective models of the household : time to shift theburden of proof?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1217, The World Bank.
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  8. Duncan Thomas & John Strauss & Maria-Helena Henriques, 1991. "How Does Mother's Education Affect Child Height?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 183-211.
  9. 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 969-80, November.
  10. Barrera, Albino, 1990. "The role of maternal schooling and its interaction with public health programs in child health production," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 69-91, January.
  11. Strauss, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Empirical Modeling of Household and Family Decisions," Papers 95-12, RAND - Reprint Series.
  12. Knight, J. & Song, L., 1991. "The Length of Life and the Standard of Living : Economic Influences on Premature Death in China," Economics Series Working Papers 99115, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Hammer, Jeffrey S, 1993. "The Economics of Malaria Control," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 8(1), pages 1-22, January.
  14. Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1985. "Health and Nutrient Consumption across and within Farm Households," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 212-23, May.
  15. Wiemer, Calla, 1987. "Optimal disease control through combined use of preventive and curative measures," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 301-319, April.
  16. 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.
  17. Horton, Susan, 1988. "Birth Order and Child Nutritional Status: Evidence from the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 341-54, January.
  18. Behrman, Jere R. & Deolalikar, Anil B., 1988. "Health and nutrition," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 631-711 Elsevier.
  19. 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.
  20. Horton, Susan, 1986. "Child nutrition and family size in the Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 161-176, September.
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