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Women: Walking and Waiting for Water The Time Value of Public Water Supply

  • Elena Gross

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

  • Isabel Günther

    (ETH Zürich)

  • Youdi Schipper

    (VU University Amsterdam)

Public funding of water supply infrastructure in developing countries is often justified by the expectation that the time spent on water collection significantly decreases, leading to increased labor force participation of women. In this study we empirically test this hypothesis by applying a difference-in-difference analysis to a sample of 2000 households in rural Benin where improved water supply was phased in over time. Time savings per day are rather modest at 35 minutes: even though walking distances are considerably reduced, women still spend a lot of time waiting at the water source. Moreover, a reduction in time to collect one water container induces women to collect a higher number of containers per day. Our results indicate that time savings are rarely followed by increased labor supply of women: men are the first to be freed from water fetching activities.

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Paper provided by Courant Research Centre PEG in its series Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers with number 134.

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Date of creation: 22 Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:134
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  1. C. Mark Blackden & Quentin Wodon, 2006. "Gender, Time Use, and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7214.
  2. Devoto, Florencia & Duflo, Esther & Dupas, Pascaline & Parienté, William & Pons, Vincent, 2011. "Happiness on Tap: Piped Water Adoption in Urban Morocco," CEPR Discussion Papers 8326, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  4. Hugh Waddington & Birte Snilstveit, 2009. "Effectiveness and sustainability of water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions in combating diarrhoea," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(3), pages 295-335.
  5. Beegle, Kathleen & De Weerdt, Joachim & Friedman, Jed & Gibson, John, 2010. "Methods of household consumption measurement through surveys : experimental results from Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5501, The World Bank.
  6. Bevan, David & Collier, Paul & Gunning, Jan Willem, 1990. "Peasants and Governments: An Economic Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286219, March.
  7. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  8. Sorenson, Susan B. & Morssink, Christiaan & Campos, Paola Abril, 2011. "Safe access to safe water in low income countries: Water fetching in current times," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(9), pages 1522-1526, May.
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