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Incorporating Cultural Context into Safe-Water Interventions: Experimental Evidence from Egypt

marzo 20 | 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Seminario de investigación del IIEP

Incorporating Cultural Context into Safe-Water Interventions: Experimental Evidence from Egypt

Expositor  | Martín Antonio Rossi | Profesor Plenario y Vicerrector – Universidad de San Andrés


Sobre el expositor
Martín Antonio Rossi is Professor of Economics at Universidad de San Andres. He received his PhD in Economics from University of Oxford. His research focuses on the intersection between development economics, political economy, and public economics, and it has been published in leading academic journals such as Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economic Studies, American Economic Review: Insights, Economic Journal, Review of Economics and Statistics, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Journal of Public Economics, and Journal of Development Economics. He is research affiliate for J-PAL, and  his professional activities include works for UNICEF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank.


Adoption rates of safe drinking water are low in developing countries. In regions where centralized water treatment infrastructure is absent, the conventional policy response is to enhance access to safe water via point-of-use chlorination. Previous research, however, reports a ceiling in adoption rates of chlorinated water at 50 percent, even when chlorine is provided for free. We report experimental evidence that a cultural-friendly technology, which provides filtered water that resembles local ancestral water, leads to higher adoption rates and willingness to pay than usual chlorinated water provision. We document adoption rates of 91 percent for filtered water, 42 percentage points higher than for chlorinated water. Willingness to pay is 61 percent higher for filtered water compared to chlorinated water. Ancillary experiments indicate that taste significantly influences the way individuals perceive the healthiness of water. According to our findings, policymakers should redirect their efforts away from the current mainstream approach of subsidized chlorine and instead explore alternative strategies that consider local communities’ culture and preferences.


marzo 20
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM


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