Sanitation, Disease Externalities and Anaemia: Evidence From Nepal
Anaemia impairs physical and cognitive development in children and reduces human capital accumulation. The prior economics literature has focused on the role of inadequate nutrition in causing anaemia. This article is the first to show that sanitation, a public good, significantly contributes to preventing anaemia. We identify effects by exploiting rapid and differential improvement in sanitation across regions of Nepal between 2006 and 2011. Within regions over time, cohorts of children exposed to better community sanitation developed higher haemoglobin levels. Our results highlight a previously undocumented externality of open defaecation, which is today practiced by over a billion people worldwide.
Coffey, Diane; Geruso, Michael; and Spears, Dean, "Sanitation, Disease Externalities and Anaemia: Evidence From Nepal" (2018). Journal Articles. 1381.