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Access to Improved Water Sources and Rural Productivity: Analytical Framework and Cross-country Evidence


  • Youssouf Kiendrebeogo

    (GED, Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV)


In this paper we address the issue of access to drinking water in rural areas related to the productivity of the agricultural workforce. Considering an agricultural household model as our basic conceptual framework, we analyze the theoretical aspects of increasing the access rate to drinking water on the productivity of the agricultural workforce. First, we show that the increased access rate to drinking water is conducive to agricultural productivity due to increased intrinsic productivity of individuals and additional gain in time for agricultural production. Second, it comes out that the constraints on the access to drinking water may be costly costs in terms of decreased productivity and well-being of rural people. Moreover, the results of econometric estimates do not reject our theoretical implications. On a sample of 27 African countries, these results show mainly that access to clean water improves agricultural productivity. This positive effect is reinforced by the presence of a better sanitation system, even after controlling for country-specific effects and for the characteristics of rural areas. Nous abordons la question de l’accès à l’eau potable en milieu rural en relation avec la productivité de la main d’œuvre agricole. Sur la base du cadre d’analyse des ménages agricoles, nous analysons les aspects théoriques des effets d’un accroissement du taux d’accès à l’eau potable sur la productivité de la main d’œuvre agricole. En premier lieu, nous montrons qu'une augmentation du taux d'accès à l’eau potable est propice à la productivité agricole du fait de l'accroissement de la productivité intrinsèque des individus et du gain additionnel de temps pour la production agricole. D’autre part, il ressort que les contraintes d’accès à l’eau potable sont susceptibles d’imposer des coûts en termes de baisse de productivité et de bien-être aux populations rurales. En outre, les résultats économétriques ne rejettent pas ces arguments théoriques. Sur un échantillon de 27 pays africains, ces résultats montrent principalement que l’accès à l’eau potable améliore la productivité agricole. Cet effet favorable est renforcé par la présence d’un meilleur système d’assainissement, même après avoir contrôlé pour les effets spécifiques pays ainsi que pour les caractéristiques du milieu rural.(Full text in english)

Suggested Citation

  • Youssouf Kiendrebeogo, 2011. "Access to Improved Water Sources and Rural Productivity: Analytical Framework and Cross-country Evidence," Documents de travail 165, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
  • Handle: RePEc:mon:ceddtr:165

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Amartya K. Sen, 1966. "Peasants and Dualism with or without Surplus Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 425-425.
    2. Alix Peterson Zwane & Michael Kremer, 2007. "What Works in Fighting Diarrheal Diseases in Developing Countries? A Critical Review," CID Working Papers 140, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    3. Kevane, Michael & Wydick, Bruce, 2001. "Social Norms and the Time Allocation of Women's Labor in Burkina Faso," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 119-129, February.
    4. Watson, Tara, 2006. "Public health investments and the infant mortality gap: Evidence from federal sanitation interventions on U.S. Indian reservations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1537-1560, September.
    5. Lokshin, Michael & Glinskaya, Elena, 2008. "The effect of male migration for work on employment patterns of females in nepal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4757, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefanos Xenarios & Heracles Polatidis & Matthew McCartney & Attila Nemes, 2015. "Developing a User-Based Decision-Aid Framework for Water Storage Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Blue Nile Basin in Ethiopia," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(04), pages 1-30, December.
    2. Maha Kalai & Kamel Helali, 2016. "Technical Change and Total Factor Productivity Growth in the Tunisian Manufacturing Industry: A Malmquist Index Approach," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 28(3), pages 344-356, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • 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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