Koundouri, Phoebe and Carson, Richard and Nauges, Céline (2010): Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh: A Household Labor Market Approach. Published in: American Journal of Agricultural Economics , Vol. 93, No. 2 (2010): pp. 407-414.
Download (167kB) | Preview
A major environmental tragedy of modern times is the widespread arsenic contamination of shallow drinking water wells in rural Bangladesh which went unrecognized for years. Large numbers of people are now starting to show a range of symptoms long associated with chronic arsenic exposure. Rural families in Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world, face financial risks from major illness both from the cost of medical care and from the loss of income associated with reduced labor supply and productivity. Because of the lack of comprehensive government assistance programs and formal insurance markets, most of these households have to rely on private, informal, insurance mechanisms. For the poor these typically take place at the household level. While arsenic-related health problems in Bangladesh have long received considerable attention (e.g., Smith, Lingas, and Rahman 2000), implications for the labor supply have not been examined. In this article, we look at the impacts of arsenic contamination on both the overall level of hours worked and the distribution of these hours within households. Using a large sample of rural households matched to arsenic exposure, we find (i) overall household labor supply is 8% smaller due to arsenic exposure and (ii) intra-household reallocation of work between males and females is used to self-insure against the risk induced by arsenic exposure.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh: A Household Labor Market Approach|
|English Title:||Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh: A Household Labor Market Approach|
|Keywords:||Arsenic mitigation, Bangladesh,labor market approach|
|Subjects:||Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q56 - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q53 - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q2 - Renewable Resources and Conservation > Q25 - Water
|Depositing User:||Phoebe Koundouri|
|Date Deposited:||01. Oct 2012 18:21|
|Last Modified:||12. Feb 2013 22:46|
Ahmad, J.K., B.N. Goldar, and S. Misra. 2005. “Value of Arsenic-free Drinking Water to Rural Households in Bangladesh.” Journal of Environmental Management 74(2):153-159.
British Geological Survey and Department of Public Health Engineering of Bangladesh. 2001. Arsenic Contamination of Groundwater in Bangladesh. Kinniburgh, D., and P. Smedley (Eds), British Geological Survey Report WC/00/19, British Geological Survey: Keyworth. Available at: http://www.bgs.ac.uk/arsenic/bangladesh/reports.htm
Chowdhury, U., B. Biswas, T. Chowdhury, G. Samanta, B. Mandal, G. Basu, C. Chanda, D. Lodh, K. Saha, S. Mukherjee, S. Roy, S. Kabir, and D. Chakraborti. 2000. “Groundwater Arsenic Contamination in Bangladesh and West Bengal.” India Environmental Health Perspectives 108:393-397.
d’Adda, G., M. Goldstein, J. Graff-Zivin, M. Nangami, and H. Thirumurthy. 2009. “ARV Treatment and Time Allocation to Household Tasks: Evidence from Kenya.” African Development Review 21(1):180-208.
Gertler, P., and J. Gruber. 2002. “Insuring Consumption Against Illness.” American Economic Review 92(1):51–70.
Graff-Zivin, J., H. Thirumurthy, and M. Goldstein. 2009. “AIDS Treatment and Intrahousehold Resource Allocation: Children’s Nutrition and Schooling in Kenya.” Journal of Public Economics 93(7-8):1008-1015.
Jalan, J., and M. Ravallion. 1999. “Are the Poor Less Well Insured? Evidence on Vulnerability to Income Risk in Rural China.” Journal of Development Economics 58(1):61–81.
Madajewicz, M., A. Pfaff, A. van Geen, J. Graziano, I. Hussein, H. Momotaj, R. Sylvi, H. Ahsan. 2007. “Can Information Alone Change Behavior? Response to Arsenic Contamination of Groundwater in Bangladesh.” Journal of Development Economics 84: 731–754.
Pitt, M.M., M.R. Rosenzweig. 1990. “Estimating the Intrahousehold Incidence of Illness: Child Health and Gender in the Allocation of Time.” International Economic Review 31(4):969-989.
Pitt, M.M., M.R. Rosenzweig, and M.D.N. Hassan. 1990. “Productivity, Health and Inequality in the Intrahousehold Distribution of Food in Low-income Countries.” American Economic Review 80(5):1130-1156.
Skoufias, E., and A.R. Quisumbing. 2005. “Consumption Insurance and Vulnerability to Poverty: A Synthesis of the Evidence from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Mali, Mexico and Russia.” European Journal of Development Research 17(1):24–58.
Smith, A.H., E.O. Lingas, and M. Rahman. 2000. “Contamination of drinking-water by arsenic in Bangladesh: a public health emergency.” Bulletin of World Health Organization, 78(9): 1093-1103.
Thomas, D., and J. Strauss. 1997. “Health and Wages: Evidence on Men and Women in Urban Brazil.” Journal of Econometrics 77(1):159-185.