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

Author

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  • Nauges, Céline
  • Van Den Berg, Caroline

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Nauges, Céline & Van Den Berg, Caroline, 2009. "Perception of Health Risk and Averting Behavior: An Analysis of Household Water Consumption in Southwest Sri Lanka," TSE Working Papers 09-139, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:22256
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. John C. Whitehead, 2006. "Improving Willingness to Pay Estimates for Quality Improvements through Joint Estimation with Quality Perceptions," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 100-111, July.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    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. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wa’el A. Hussien & Fayyaz A. Memon & Dragan A. Savic, 2016. "Assessing and Modelling the Influence of Household Characteristics on Per Capita Water Consumption," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 30(9), pages 2931-2955, July.
    2. Lanz, Bruno & Provins, Allan, 2017. "Using averting expenditures to estimate the demand for public goods: Combining objective and perceived quality," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 20-35.
    3. Choumert, Johanna & Stage, Jesper & Uwera, Claudine, 2014. "Access to water as determinant of rental values: A housing hedonic analysis in Rwanda," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 48-54.
    4. Céline Nauges & Dale Whittington, 2010. "Estimation of Water Demand in Developing Countries: An Overview," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 25(2), pages 263-294, August.
    5. Onjala, Joseph & Ndiritu, Simon Wagura & Stage, Jesper, 2013. "Risk Perception, Choice of Drinking Water, and Water Treatment: Evidence from Kenyan Towns," Discussion Papers dp-13-10-efd, Resources For the Future.
    6. Johanna CHOUMERT & Jesper STAGE & Claudine UWERA, 2014. "Access to water as a determinant of rental values: A hedonic analysis in Rwanda," Working Papers 201401, CERDI.
    7. Eric Nazindigouba KERE & Johanna CHOUMERT & Amandine Loyal LARÉ-DONDARINI, 2014. "The impact of water and sanitation access on housing values: The case of Dapaong, Togo," Working Papers 201403, CERDI.

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    Keywords

    water consumption; risk perception; averting behavior;

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