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Village sanitation and children's human capital : evidence from a randomized experiment by the Maharashtra government, Volume 1
 
Author:Hammer, Jeffrey; Spears, Dean; Country:India;
Date Stored:2013/08/20Document Date:2013/08/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Hygiene Promotion and Social Marketing; Health Monitoring & Evaluation; Disease Control & Prevention; Population Policies; Early Child and Children's Health
Language:EnglishRegion:South Asia
Report Number:WPS6580Collection Title:Impact Evaluation series ; no. IE 103Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 6580
Volume No:1  

Summary: Open defecation is exceptionally widespread in India, a county with puzzlingly high rates of child stunting. This paper reports a randomized controlled trial of a village-level sanitation program, implemented in one district by the government of Maharashtra. The program caused a large but plausible average increase in child height (95 percent confidence interval [0.04 to 0.61] standard deviations), which is an important marker of human capital. The results demonstrate sanitation externalities: an effect even on children in households that did not adopt latrines. Unusually, surveyors also collected data in districts where the government planned but ultimately did not conduct an experiment, permitting analysis of the importance of the set eligible for randomization.

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