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Water Hauling and Girls’ School Attendance: New Evidence From Ghana

Joint Bank-Fund Brown-Bag Research Seminars on Environment and Energy:
Water Hauling and Girls’ School Attendance: New Evidence From Ghana

By Céline Nauges, Toulouse School of Economics, and Jon Strand, DECEE

Presented by Céline Nauges
Venue: MC6-598
Thursday, May 26, 12.30-2 pm


In large parts of the world, a lack of home tap water burdens households as the water must be brought to the house from outside, at great expense in terms of effort and time. We here study how such costs affect girls’ schooling in Ghana, with an analysis based on four rounds of the DHS (Demographic and Health Surveys) from Ghana, in 1993-94, 1998-99, 2003 and 2008. Using GPS coordinates, we build an artificial panel of clusters, identifying the closest neighbours within each round. On this basis we estimate the relationship between girls’ school attendance and water hauling activity, correcting for potential endogeneity of communities and household characteristics. Our results indicate a strong negative relation between girls’ schooling, with a 15 minute reduction in water fetching times increasing girls’ school attendance by 8-12 percent. We also find indications of  “threshold” effects whereby such effects are far stronger for “high” ranges of water hauling time cost, than for “low” ranges. These results for Ghana seem to be the first definitive documentation of such a relationship for Africa. They serve to document some of the multiple and wide benefits to the population of increased tap water access, in African countries and beyond.

Bio, :
Céline Nauges is a Senior Researcher at the French National Institute for Research in Agriculture (INRA) at the Toulouse School of Economics, in Toulouse, France. She is an internationally leading researcher, and has published widely, in several areas including water management in both high- and low-income countries; microeconometrics applied to agriculture, natural resources, and the environment; analysis of public policies for natural resources management; and techology adoption and decision making under uncertainty in the agricultural and industrial sectors.
For further information on the presentation, contact Jon Strand at:, 202-458-5122
The Joint Bank-Fund Brown-Bag Research Seminars on Environment and Energy is a joint initiative between the Development Research Group, Environment and Energy Team (DECEE), World Bank, and the Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF. Organizers of the series are Jon Strand (DECEE), and Ruud de Mooij and Ian Parry (FAD/IMF). The seminars are held at lunch time, typically once every two weeks, and alternately in the Bank and Fund. Aims of the seminars are to raise attention to, and interest, in environment, energy and natural resources issues in both institutions; to promote the interaction between the two institutions in these fields; and to improve the institutions' common work on policy

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