Religion and Sanitation Practices

28 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2019

See all articles by Anjali Adukia

Anjali Adukia

University of Chicago

Marcella Alsan

Stanford University

Kimberly Singer Babiarz

Stanford University

Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert

Stanford University

Lea Prince

Stanford University

Date Written: January 1, 2019

Abstract

Infant mortality among Hindus is higher than among Muslims in India, and religious differences in sanitation practices have been cited as a contributing factor. To explore whether religion itself is associated with differences in sanitation practices, we com-pare sanitation practices of Hindus and Muslims living in the same locations using three nationally-representative data sets from India. Across all three data sets, the un-conditional religion-specific gap in latrine ownership and latrine use declines by approximately two-thirds when conditioning on location characteristics or including location fixed effects. Further, we do not find evidence of religion-specific differences in other sanitation practices, such as handwashing or observed fecal material near homes. We conclude that household sanitation practices vary substantially across areas of India, but that religion itself has less direct influence when considering differences between Hindus and Muslims within the same location.

Keywords: sanitation, urbanization, religion, culture

JEL Classification: I12, O15, Z12

Suggested Citation

Adukia, Anjali and Alsan, Marcella and Singer Babiarz, Kimberly and Goldhaber-Fiebert, Jeremy D. and Prince, Lea, Religion and Sanitation Practices (January 1, 2019). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2019-44. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3348526 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3348526

Anjali Adukia (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://home.uchicago.edu/adukia

Marcella Alsan

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Kimberly Singer Babiarz

Stanford University ( email )

No Address Available

Jeremy D. Goldhaber-Fiebert

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Lea Prince

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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