Neither Private nor Public: The Effects of Communal Provision of Water on Child Health in Peru
The literature on local services has focused on the effects of privatization and, if anything, has compared the effects of private and mixed public-private systems versus public provision. However, alternative forms of provision such as cooperatives, which can be very prevalent in many developing countries, have been completely ignored. In this paper, we investigate the effects of communal water provison (Comités Vecinales and Juntas Administrativas de Servicios de Saneamiento) on child health in Peru. Using detailed survey data at the household- and child-level for the years 2006-2010, we exploit the cross-section variability to assess the differential impact of this form of provision. Despite controlling for a wide range of household and local characteristics, the municipalities served by communal organizations are more likely to have poorer health indicators, what would result in a downward bias on the absolute magnitude of the effect of cooperatives. We rely on an instrumental variable strategy to deal with this potential endogeneity problem, and use the personnel resources and the administrative urban/rural classi fication of the municipalities as instruments for the provision type. The results show a negative and signi cant effect of comunal water provision on diarrhea among under- five year old children. Keywords: water utilities, cooperatives, child health, regulation, Peru. JEL Classi fication Numbers: L33; L50; L95
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