NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Impact of Piped Water Provision on Infant Mortality in Brazil: A Quantile Panel Data Approach

Shanti Gamper-Rabindran, Shakeeb Khan, Christopher Timmins

NBER Working Paper No. 14365
Issued in October 2008
NBER Program(s):   EEE

We examine the impact of piped water on the under-1 infant mortality rate (IMR) in Brazil using a novel 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 (2007), 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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14365

Published: Journal of Development Economics Volume 92, Issue 2, July 2010, Pages 188–200 Cover image The impact of piped water provision on infant mortality in Brazil: A quantile panel data approach Shanti Gamper-Rabindrana, Corresponding author contact information, E-mail the corresponding author, Shakeeb Khanb, Christopher Timminsb

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