Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/161241
Authors: 
Bhalotra, Sonia R.
Diaz-Cayeros, Alberto
Miller, Grant
Miranda, Alfonso
Venkataramani, Atheendar
Year of Publication: 
2017
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 10618
Abstract: 
Historically, improvements in the quality of municipal drinking water made important contributions to mortality decline in wealthy countries. However, water disinfection often does not produce equivalent benefits in developing countries today. We investigate this puzzle by analyzing an abrupt, large-scale municipal water disinfection program in Mexico in 1991 that increased the share of Mexico's population receiving chlorinated water from 55% to 85% within six months. We find that on average, the program was associated with a 37 to 48% decline in diarrheal disease deaths among children (over 23,000 averted deaths per year) and was highly cost-effective (about $1,310 per life year saved). However, we also find evidence that age (degradation) of water pipes and lack of complementary sanitation infrastructure play important roles in attenuating these benefits. Countervailing behavioral responses, although present, appear to be less important.
Subjects: 
clean water
chlorination
child mortality
infectious disease
diarrhea
Mexico
cost-effectiveness
sanitation
behavioral responses
JEL: 
I18
H41
J11
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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