Village Sanitation and Children's Human Capital: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment by the Maharashtra Government

42 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Jeffrey S. Hammer

Jeffrey S. Hammer

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Dean Spears

University of Texas at Austin; Economics and Planning Unit, ISI-Delhi; r.i.c.e.; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: August 1, 2013

Abstract

Open defecation is exceptionally widespread in India, a county with puzzlingly high rates of child stunting. This paper reports a randomized controlled trial of a village-level sanitation program, implemented in one district by the government of Maharashtra. The program caused a large but plausible average increase in child height (95 percent confidence interval [0.04 to 0.61] standard deviations), which is an important marker of human capital. The results demonstrate sanitation externalities: an effect even on children in households that did not adopt latrines. Unusually, surveyors also collected data in districts where the government planned but ultimately did not conduct an experiment, permitting analysis of the importance of the set eligible for randomization.

Keywords: Health Monitoring & Evaluation, Disease Control & Prevention, Population Policies, Hygiene Promotion and Social Marketing, Early Child and Children's Health

Suggested Citation

Hammer, Jeffrey S. and Spears, Dean, Village Sanitation and Children's Human Capital: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment by the Maharashtra Government (August 1, 2013). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6580, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2313535

Jeffrey S. Hammer (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Dean Spears

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

Economics and Planning Unit, ISI-Delhi ( email )

7 S .J. S.
Sansanwal Marg
New Delhi, 110016
India

r.i.c.e.

New Delhi
India

HOME PAGE: http://www.riceinstitute.org

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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