NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Jessica Leino

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August 2009Spring Cleaning: Rural Water Impacts, Valuation and Property Rights Institutions
with Michael Kremer, Edward Miguel, Alix Peterson Zwane: w15280
In many societies, social norms create common property rights in natural resources, limiting incentives for private investment. This paper uses a randomized evaluation in Kenya to measure the health impacts of investments to improve source water quality through spring protection, estimate the value that households place on spring protection, and simulate the welfare impacts of alternative water property rights norms and institutions, including common property, freehold private property, and alternative “Lockean” property rights norms. We find that infrastructure investments reduce fecal contamination by 66% at naturally occurring springs, cutting child diarrhea by one quarter. While households increase their use of protected springs, travel-cost based revealed preference estimates of ho...

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