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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
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3228
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  1. 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.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2005. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 83-120, February.
  5. Benitez, Daniel A. & Chisari, Omar O. & Estache, Antonio, 2001. "Can the Gains from Argentina's Utilities Reform Offset Credit Shocks?," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  6. 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.
  7. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2004. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," NBER Working Papers 10552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Pollitt, M.G., 2004. "‘Electricity Reform in Argentina: Lessons for Developing Countries’," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0449, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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