Sanitation, Disease Externalities and Anaemia: Evidence From Nepal

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Date: June 2018
From: Economic Journal(Vol. 128, Issue 611)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Document Type: Report
Length: 309 words

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Abstract :

Byline: Diane Coffey, Michael Geruso, Dean Spears Anaemia impairs physical and cognitive development in children and reduces human capital accumulation. The prior economics literature has focused on the role of inadequate nutrition in causing anaemia. This article is the first to show that sanitation, a public good, significantly contributes to preventing anaemia. We identify effects by exploiting rapid and differential improvement in sanitation across regions of Nepal between 2006 and 2011. Within regions over time, cohorts of children exposed to better community sanitation developed higher haemoglobin levels. Our results highlight a previously undocumented externality of open defaecation, which is today practiced by over a billion people worldwide. Article Note: We appreciate comments and suggestions from Harold Alderman, Oliver Cumming, Angus Deaton, Jeffrey Hammer, and Jean Humphrey. We thank seminar participants at Allahabad University, the Delhi School of Economics, and the Population Association of America 2014 annual meeting for helpful feedback. Research reported in this publication was directly supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R03HD081209, Coffey and Spears also gratefully acknowledge a centre grant for sanitation evidence from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (OPP1125318) to r.i.c.e. r.i.c.e. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research institute supported by donations and by research grants on sanitation and other topics. Geruso also gratefully acknowledges financial support from centre grants 5 R24 HD042849 and 5 T32 HD007081 awarded to the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. This manuscript supersedes a previous draft by Diane Coffey entitled 'Sanitation externalities, disease, and children's anaemia', dated March, 2014. CAPTION(S): Data S1.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A541334981