Clustered into Control: Causal Impacts of Water Infrastructure Failure

Resources for the Future Discussion Paper 16-33

41 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2016

See all articles by Jacob S. LaRiviere

Jacob S. LaRiviere

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

Casey Wichman

Resources for the Future

Brandon Cunningham

New York University School of Law

Date Written: August 12, 2016

Abstract

The causal economic impacts of water infrastructure disruptions in OECD countries are largely unknown. Using details of water main break events in Washington, DC, and hourly traffic speeds for 2,182 road segments in a quasi-experimental difference-in-difference design, we estimate the causal effect of main failure on congestion. We use k-means clustering to match treated road segments to control segments. Although precisely estimated, the magnitude of our treatment effects is economically small even when accounting for temporal traffic heterogeneity. Our results suggest that traffic concerns alone are not a justification for policy makers to alter repair strategy for distributed water infrastructure.

Keywords: water main breaks, trac congestion, water infrastructure, k-means clustering

JEL Classification: H41, H70, C10, L95, Q51, R42

Suggested Citation

LaRiviere, Jacob S. and Wichman, Casey and Cunningham, Brandon, Clustered into Control: Causal Impacts of Water Infrastructure Failure (August 12, 2016). Resources for the Future Discussion Paper 16-33, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2851975 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2851975

Jacob S. LaRiviere (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga ( email )

Department of Philosophy & Religion (#2753)
Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598
United States

Casey Wichman

Resources for the Future ( email )

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States
2023285055 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rff.org/wichman

Brandon Cunningham

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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