Princeton University Library Catalog

Diarrhea Outcomes Following Water Privatization in La Paz and El Alto, Bolivia

Yin, Lu [Browse]
Senior thesis
Vogl, Tom S. [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Economics [Browse]
Class year:
91 pages
Summary note:
Water and sanitation are very important in the eld of public health, particularly with regard to childhood diarrhea. Diarrhea is the second most common cause of child mortality, and the provision of clean drinking water could potentially prevent 1.4 million deaths a year. Improvements in water and sanitation can yield many bene ts, but are often hindered by a lack of resources. One proposed policy for improving water in developing countries is water privatization, the involvement of the private sector in managing water supplies. Privatization is a controversial policy, and this study aims to add to the discussion with an analysis of whether water privatization succeeded in improving health outcomes in La Paz and El Alto, Bolivia. I will compare changes in diarrhea incidence in La Paz/El Alto to changes in diarrhea incidence in the controls using a di erence-in-di erences analysis. I nd that while diarrhea outcomes were relatively improved in La Paz/El Alto compared to the controls, there is little evidence that water privatization caused the decrease. The placebo, cough incidence, also decreased signi cantly over the same time period relative to the controls, indicating that there is omitted variable bias. Furthermore, I was unable to nd a consistent corresponding relative increase in utilities that would have provided the causal link between water privatization and health outcomes. Ultimately, the results are inconclusive, as the analysis does not produce evidence that there was a causal relationship between water privatization and decreased diarrhea incidence in La Paz and El Alto.