The impact of piped water provision on infant mortality in Brazil: A quantile panel data approach

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We examine the impact of piped water on the under-1 infant mortality rate (IMR) in Brazil using a recently developed econometric procedure for the estimation of quantile treatment effects with panel data. The provision of piped water in Brazil is highly correlated with other observable and unobservable determinants of IMR - the latter leading to an important source of bias. Instruments for piped water provision are not readily available, and fixed effects to control for time-invariant correlated unobservables are invalid in the simple quantile regression framework. Using the quantile panel data procedure in Chen and Khan [Chen, S., Khan, S., Semiparametric estimation of non-stationary censored panel model data models with time-varying factor. Econometric Theory 2007; forthcoming], our estimates indicate that the provision of piped water reduces infant mortality by significantly more at the higher conditional quantiles of the IMR distribution than at the lower conditional quantiles (except for cases of extreme underdevelopment). These results imply that targeting piped water intervention toward areas in the upper quantiles of the conditional IMR distribution, when accompanied by other basic public health inputs, can achieve significantly greater reductions in infant mortality. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.






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Gamper-Rabindran, S, S Khan and C Timmins (2010). The impact of piped water provision on infant mortality in Brazil: A quantile panel data approach. Journal of Development Economics, 92(2). pp. 188–200. 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2009.02.006 Retrieved from

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Shakeeb Khan

Professor of Economics

Professor Khan is on leave at Boston College for the 2016-17 academic year.

Professor Khan specializes in the fields of mathematical economics, statistics, and applied econometrics. His studies have explored a variety of subjects from covariate dependent censoring and non-stationary panel data, to causal effects of education on wage inequality and the variables affecting infant mortality rates in Brazil. He was awarded funding by National Science Foundation grants for his projects entitled, “Estimation of Binary Choice and Nonparametric Censored Regression Models” and “Estimation of Cross-Sectional and Panel Data Duration Models with General Forms of Censoring.” He has published numerous papers in leading academic journals, including such writings as, “Heteroskedastic Transformation Models with Covariate Dependent Censoring” with E. Tamer and Y. Shin; “The Identification Power of Equilibrium in Simple Games;” “Partial Rank Estimation of Duration Models with General Forms of Censoring” with E. Tamer; and more. He is currently collaborating with D. Nekipelov and J.L. Powell on the project, “Optimal Point and Set Inference in Competing Risk Models;” with A. Lewbel on, “Identification and Estimation of Stochastic Frontier Models;” and with E. Tamer on, “Conditional Moment Inequalities in Roy Models with Cross-Section and Panel Data.”


Christopher D. Timmins

Professor of Economics

Christopher D. Timmins is a Professor in the Department of Economics at Duke University, with a secondary appointment in Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. He holds a BSFS degree from Georgetown University and a PhD in Economics from Stanford University. Professor Timmins was an Assistant Professor in the Yale Department of Economics before joining the faculty at Duke in 2004. His professional activities include teaching, research, and editorial responsibilities. Professor Timmins specializes in natural resource and environmental economics, but he also has interests in industrial organization, development, public and regional economics. He works on developing new methods for non-market valuation of local public goods and amenities, with a particular focus on hedonic techniques and models of residential sorting. His recent research has focused on measuring the costs associated with exposure to poor air quality, the benefits associated with remediating brownfields and toxic waste under the Superfund program, the valuation of non-marginal changes in disamenities, and the causes and consequences of "environmental injustice".

Professor Timmins is a research associate in the Environmental and Energy Economics group at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and has served as a reviewer for numerous environmental, urban, and applied microeconomics journals as well as governments agencies and foundations. He has served as a co-editor of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management and as an editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

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