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Water Improvement and Health: Historical Evidence on the Effect of Filtering Water on Urban Mortality

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  • Knutsson, Daniel

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)

Abstract

In this paper, I analyse how technologies for cleaning and distributing water can affect health using new historical data from Sweden. The city of Stockholm introduced a slow filter water cleaning system and piped distribu- tion network in 1861 enabling parts of the population in-house access. The historical context allows me to analyse these technologies without sewerage access as no major sewerage system was constructed at the same time. By using detailed information on water access through contemporary contract lists I can measure access to clean water with great precision. My findings suggest large beneficial effects of having access to clean in-house water. This effect is apparent for the general population but not as precise for infants and in line or even larger than previous estimates. I document heterogeneity in infant mortality with respect to gender where girls seem to have benefited more.

Suggested Citation

  • Knutsson, Daniel, 2017. "Water Improvement and Health: Historical Evidence on the Effect of Filtering Water on Urban Mortality," Research Papers in Economics 2017:2, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2017_0002
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Troesken, Werner & Tynan, Nicola & Yang, Yuanxiaoyue Artemis, 2021. "What are the health benefits of a constant water supply? Evidence from London, 1860–1910," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    2. Anderson, D. Mark & Charles, Kerwin Kofi & Rees, Daniel I. & Wang, Tianyi, 2019. "Water Purification Efforts and the Black-White Infant Mortality Gap, 1906-1938," IZA Discussion Papers 12783, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Knutsson, Daniel, 2020. "The Effect of Water Filtration on Cholera Mortality," Working Paper Series 1346, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    4. Juliana Jaramillo-Echeverri & Adolfo Meisel-Roca & María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo, 2019. "More than 100 years of improvements in living standards: the case of Colombia," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 13(3), pages 323-366, September.
    5. Anderson, D. Mark & Rees, Daniel I. & Wang, Tianyi, 2020. "The phenomenon of summer diarrhea and its waning, 1910-1930⁎," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    6. Anderson, D. Mark & Charles, Kerwin Kofi & Rees, Daniel I. & Wang, Tianyi, 2021. "Water purification efforts and the black‐white infant mortality gap, 1906–1938," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    7. Adolfo Meisel-Roca & Juliana Jaramillo-Echeverri & María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo, 2018. "Más de cien años de avances en el nivel de vida: El caso de Colombia," Cuadernos de Historia Económica 46, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    8. D. Mark Anderson & Kerwin Kofi Charles & Daniel I. Rees & Tianyi Wang, 2019. "Water Purification Efforts and the Black-White Infant Mortality Gap, 1906-1938," Working Papers 2019-075, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    9. Troesken, Werner & Tynan, Nicola & Yang, Yuanxiaoyue, 2021. "What are the Health Benefits of a Constant Water Supply? Evidence from London, 1860-1910," MPRA Paper 107872, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Juliana Jaramillo-Echeverri & Adolfo Meisel-Roca & María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo, 2017. "More than One Hundred Years of Improvements in Living Standards: the Case of Colombia," Borradores de Economia 1027, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    11. D. Mark Anderson & Kerwin Kofi Charles & Daniel I. Rees & Tianyi Wang, 2019. "Water Purification Efforts and the Black-White Infant Mortality Gap, 1906-1938," NBER Working Papers 26489, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Water; Piped water; Filtered water; Infant Mortality; Mortality; Public Health;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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