Does Piped Water Reduce Diarrhea for Children in Rural India?
30 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: November 30, 1999
August 2001 Children's health improves on average as a result of policy interventions that expand access to piped water. However, the gains largely bypass children in poor and poorly educated families.
The effects of public investments aimed at directly improving children's health are theoretically ambiguous, since the outcomes also depend on indirect effects through parental inputs. Jalan and Ravallion investigate the role of such inputs in influencing the incidence of child health gains from access to piped water in rural India.
Using propensity score matching methods, they find that the prevalence and duration of diarrhea among children under five are significantly less on average for families with piped water than for families without it. But health gains largely bypass children in poor families, particularly when the mother is poorly educated. The authors' findings point to the importance of combining infrastructure investments with effective public action to promote health knowledge and income poverty reduction.
This paper - a product of Poverty, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to better measure and understand the welfare impacts of development projects. The study was funded by the Bank's Research Support Budget under the research project "Policies for Poor Areas" (RPO 681-39). The authors may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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