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Perception of Health Risk and Averting Behavior: An Analysis of Household Water Consumption in Southwest Sri Lanka

  • Nauges, Céline
  • Van Den Berg, Caroline

Using household data from surveys made in Sri Lanka, we provide original results regarding i) factors driving the perception of risk related to water consumption and ii) the role of perceived risk on household’s decision to treat water before drinking it. First, we find evidence that water aesthetic attributes (taste, smell, and color), household’s education and information about hygiene practices drive household’s assessment of safety risk. Second, we show that a higher perceived risk increases the probability that households boil or filter water before drinking it.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 09-139.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:22256
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  1. Curtis, Valerie & Kanki, Bernadette & Mertens, Thierry & Traore, Etienne & Diallo, Ibrahim & Tall, François & Cousens, Simon, 1995. "Potties, pits and pipes: Explaining hygiene behaviour in Burkina Faso," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 383-393, August.
  2. Jalan, Jyotsna & Somanathan, E., 2008. "The importance of being informed: Experimental evidence on demand for environmental quality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 14-28, August.
  3. Cairncross, Sandy & Shordt, Kathleen & Zacharia, Suma & Govindan, Beena Kumari, 2005. "What causes sustainable changes in hygiene behaviour? A cross-sectional study from Kerala, India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(10), pages 2212-2220, November.
  4. Michael Kremer, 2007. "What Works in Fighting Diarrheal Diseases in Developing Countries? A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 12987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Does piped water reduce diarrhea for children in rural India?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 153-173, January.
  6. Courant, Paul N. & Porter, Richard C., 1981. "Averting expenditure and the cost of pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 321-329, December.
  7. John C. Whitehead, 2005. "Improving Willingness to Pay Estimates for Quality Improvements Throught Joint Estimation with Quality Perceptions," NCEE Working Paper Series 200508, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Aug 2005.
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