Typhoid Fever, Water Quality, and Human Capital Formation
Investment in water purification technologies led to large mortality declines by helping eradicate typhoid fever and other waterborne diseases. This paper seeks to understand how these technologies affected human capital formation. We use typhoid fatality rates during early life as a proxy for water quality. To carry out the analysis, city-level data are merged with a unique dataset linking individuals between the 1900 and 1940 censuses. Parametric and semi-parametric estimates suggest that eradicating early-life exposure to typhoid fever would have increased earnings in later life by 1% and increased educational attainment by one month. Instrumenting for typhoid fever using the typhoid rates from cities that lie upstream produces similar results. A simple cost-benefit analysis indicates that the increase in earnings from eradicating typhoid fever was more than sufficient to offset the costs of eradication.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2014|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||CH DAE HE|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Carlos Bozzoli & Angus Deaton & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2008.
"Adult height and childhood disease,"
1119, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Ferrie, Joseph P. & Troesken, Werner, 2008. "Water and Chicago's mortality transition, 1850-1925," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-16, January.
- Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011.
"Human Capital Development before Age Five,"
Handbook of Labor Economics,
- Lionel Kesztenbaum & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 2014. "Income versus Sanitation; Mortality Decline in Paris, 1880-1914," PSE Working Papers halshs-01018594, HAL.
- Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet & Herrmann, Mariesa, 2012.
"From infant to mother: Early disease environment and future maternal health,"
Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 475-483.
- Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Mariesa Herrmann, 2011. "From Infant to Mother: Early Disease Environment and Future Maternal Health," NBER Working Papers 17676, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Janet Currie & Joshua Graff Zivin & Katherine Meckel & Matthew Neidell & Wolfram Schlenker, 2013.
"Something in the water: contaminated drinking water and infant health,"
Canadian Journal of Economics,
Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(3), pages 791-810, August.
- Janet Currie & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Katherine Meckel & Matthew J. Neidell & Wolfram Schlenker, 2013. "Something in the Water: Contaminated Drinking Water and Infant Health," NBER Working Papers 18876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Cutler & Grant Miller, 2005. "The role of public health improvements in health advances: The twentieth-century United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 1-22, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20279. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.