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The Impact of Electricity Sector Privatization on Public Health

  • Martín Gonzalez-Eiras
  • Martín A. Rossi

This paper uses provincial-level data for Argentina to test for the causal relationship between electricity distribution and health. It examines the impact of privatization on two output measures: incidence of low birth weight and child mortality rates caused by food poisoning. Privatization improves service coverage which, through the use of refrigerators, may improve nutritional intake. Privatization also results in a reduction in the frequency of interruptions, and thus may reduce the likelihood of food poisoning. Though the evidence indicates that privatization reduced the frequency of low birth weight and child mortality rates caused by food poisoning, the results are not strong enough to inform the policy debate with respect to the benefits of privatization for the welfare of the poor.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 3228.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3228
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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  2. Daniel Benitez & Omar Chisari & Antonio Estache, 2003. "Can the gains from Argentina's utilities reform offset credit shocks?," Chapters, in: Utility Privatization and Regulation, chapter 8 Edward Elgar.
  3. 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.
  4. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083, August.
  5. Chisari, Omar & Estache, Antonio & Romero, Carlos, 1997. "Winners and losers from utility privatization in Argentina : lessons from a general equilibrium model," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1824, The World Bank.
  6. Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "Electricity reform in Argentina: Lessons for developing countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1536-1567, July.
  7. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  8. Federico Sturzenegger & Ernesto Schargrodsky & Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler, 2003. "The Costs and Benefits of Privatization in Argentina: A Microeconomic Analysis," Research Department Publications 3148, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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