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Village sanitation externalities and children's human capital: Evidence from a randomized experiment by the Maharashtra government « Topic « Downloads

Date postedFebruary 3, 2013
Downloaded1139 times
CategoriesTopic, Working Papers, India, Health


Open defecation is exceptionally widespread in India, a county with puzzlingly high rates of child stunting. We study 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, an important marker of human capital. We further document sanitation externalities: an effect even on children in households that did not adopt latrines. Unusually, we 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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