Water Hauling and Girls’ School Attendance: Some New Evidence from Ghana

Citation:

Nauges, Céline, and Jon Strand. 2017. “Water Hauling and Girls’ School Attendance: Some New Evidence from Ghana.” Environmental and Resource Economics 66 (1): 65–88.

Authors: Céline Nauges, Jon Strand

Abstract:

In large parts of the world, a lack of home tap water burdens households as the water must be brought to the house from outside, at great expense in terms of effort and time. We here study how such costs affect girls’ schooling in Ghana, with an analysis based on four rounds of the Demographic and Health Surveys. We address potential endogeneity issues by building an artificial panel of clusters using GPS coordinates. Our results indicate a significant negative relation between girls’ school attendance and water hauling activity, as a halving of water fetching times increases girls’ school attendance by about 7 percentage points on average, with stronger impacts in rural communities. Our results seem to be the first definitive documentation of such a relationship in Sub-Saharan Africa. They document some of the multiple and wide population benefits of increased tap water access, that are likely to be relevant in many African countries, and elsewhere.

Keywords: Household water access, panel data, school attendance, Sub-Saharan Africa

Topics: Education, Gender, Girls, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2017

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