Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: The Impact of Piped Drinking Water Supply on Childhood Health, Development and Mortality: Evidence from Peru

Thursday, November 12, 2015 : 9:10 AM
Brickell North (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Lukas Glos, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Historically, the installation of water- and sanitation-related infrastructure has been associated with substantial health benefits and improved life expectancy. The rapid decline in child mortality in twentieth century United States and Europe corresponded with the expansion of the drinking water and sanitation networks in both geographical areas. Recent studies evaluating the relationship between improved water- and sanitation-related infrastructure and childhood health benefits in low- and middle income countries, however, have reported inconclusive results. This paper adds to the discussion by evaluating the impact of piped drinking water on childhood health, physical development and mortality in Peru, a middle income country in South America.

Pooling data for the years 2005 through 2013 from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program and employing a spatial and time fixed effects regression analysis methodology, this paper finds that access to piped drinking water infrastructure within a household’s dwelling significantly reduces the exposure of children to diarrheal episodes and severe stunting. Estimation results also suggest that the magnitude of the effect increases when piped drinking water within a household’s dwelling is available continuously. In contrast, no statistically significant impact on diarrheal episodes and severe stunting could be shown for children living in households with access to communal piped drinking water networks. In addition, all regression coefficients evaluating the impact of piped drinking water on child mortality were insignificant.