Externalities and Spillovers from Sanitation and Waste Management in Urban and Rural Neighborhoods

41 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2019 Last revised: 29 Jul 2019

See all articles by Evan Kresch

Evan Kresch

Department of Economics - Oberlin College

Molly Lipscomb

Batten School of Public Policy

Laura Schechter

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Agricultural and Applied Economics; University of Wisconsin at Madison - Economics

Date Written: July 26, 2019

Abstract

Proper sanitation and waste management has important health benefits, both directly for the household making the decision and indirectly for its neighbors due to positive externalities. Nevertheless, construction and use of improved sanitation systems in much of the developing world continues to lag. Many recent interventions such as Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) have attempted to harness the power of social interactions to increase take-up of improved sanitation. Most evidence to date mobilizes social pressure in rural areas, yet evidence is more scarce in urban neighborhoods where high population density may lead to larger externalities from poor sanitation decisions. We review the recent literature on how sanitation decisions are inter-related within neighborhoods: the health externalities that sanitation decisions have on neighbors and the social decision spillovers that drive take-up. We explore potential explanations for the low take-up and maintenance of sanitation systems, including the possibility of non-linearities and thresholds in health externalities; the roles of social pressure, reciprocity, learning from others, and coordination in decision spillovers; and differences between urban and rural contexts.

Keywords: Sanitation, Health, Waste Management, Externalities, Spillovers, CLTS

JEL Classification: I15, O12, Q53

Suggested Citation

Kresch, Evan and Lipscomb, Molly and Schechter, Laura, Externalities and Spillovers from Sanitation and Waste Management in Urban and Rural Neighborhoods (July 26, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3410045 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3410045

Evan Kresch

Department of Economics - Oberlin College ( email )

Oberlin, OH 44074
United States

Molly Lipscomb

Batten School of Public Policy ( email )

235 McCormick Rd.
P.O. Box 400893
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4893
United States

Laura Schechter (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Agricultural and Applied Economics ( email )

427 Lorch St.
Madison, WI 53706-1503
United States

HOME PAGE: http://aae.wisc.edu/lschechter

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Economics ( email )

William H. Sewell Social Science Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

HOME PAGE: http://aae.wisc.edu/lschechter

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