What are Households Willing to Pay for Improved Water Access? Results from a Meta-Analysis
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© 2016Although several factors contribute to low rates of access to improved water and sanitation in the developing world, it is especially important to understand and measure household demand for these services. One valuable source of information regarding demand is the growing empirical literature that has applied stated preference methods to estimate households’ willingness to pay (WTP). Because it is difficult to generalize and support planning based on this scattered literature, we conduct a meta-analysis to take stock of the worldwide sample of household WTP for improved drinking water services. Using 171 WTP estimates drawn from 60 studies, we first describe this sample and then examine the potential factors that explain variation in WTP estimates. Our results suggest that households are willing to pay between approximately $3 and $30 per month for improvements in water access. Specifically, in line with economic theory and intuition, WTP is sensitive to scope (the magnitude of improvement in drinking water services), as well as household income, and stated-preference elicitation method. We demonstrate how our results can be used to predict household-level WTP for selected improvements in drinking water access in regions with low coverage, and find that private benefits exceed the cost of provision.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.01.023
Publication InfoVan Houtven, GL; Pattanayak, SK; Usmani, F; & Yang, JC (2017). What are Households Willing to Pay for Improved Water Access? Results from a Meta-Analysis. Ecological Economics, 136. pp. 126-135. 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.01.023. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/13802.
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Subhrendu K. Pattanayak
Oak Foundation Distinguished Professor of Environmental and Energy Policy
Subhrendu K. Pattanayak is the Oak Professor of Environmental and Energy Policy at Duke University. He studies the causes and consequences of human behaviors related to the natural environment to help design and evaluate policy interventions in low-income tropical countries. His research is in three domains at the intersection of environment, development, health and energy: forest ecosystem services, environmental health (diarrhea, malaria, respiratory infections) and household energy transition
Research Assistant, Ph D Student
I am an applied microeconomist, with research interests at the intersection of environmental, energy and development economics. In addition to being a PhD candidate at Duke University, I am a Doctoral Student Fellow at the Duke University Energy Initiative, and a Doctoral Scholar</a
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