Ground Water Arsenic and Education Attainment in Bangladesh
20 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 28, 2013
A third of Bangladeshi children live in communities with unsafe, arsenic contaminated water. Fifty-seven percent of children in such communities are reported to drink from arsenic free sources, partly as a result of public health programs that identify contaminated wells and alert people to the risks of drinking from contaminated wells. Fixed-effects regressions reveal that the forty-three percent of boys who grow up in such communities and who are not reported to drink arsenic-free water, lose a half year of schooling to arsenic’s effects. Boys living in communities with unsafe water but reported to drink from arsenic-free sources do not suffer this adverse educational consequence. Estimated negative effects for girls are much smaller and statistically insignificant, which accords with others’ similar findings about arsenic’s differential impacts on cognitive development for Bangladeshi boys and girls. Public health measures that induce people to shift away from arsenic-contaminated wells not only improve health, but also build human capital.
Keywords: Disease, Education, Arsenic, Water
JEL Classification: I130, O150
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation