New Study Shows Impact of Water Quality on Child Mortality

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After I emailed you earlier this week about the role of privatization in bringing water to developing countries and the parallels with the policy debate over privatization in the United States, I found out about a new study written as part of the Working Paper series at the Center for Research on Economic Development and Policy at Stanford.

“Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality” examines the effects of the privatization of water services on child mortality in Argentina.


Authors Sebastian Galiani, Paul Gertler, and Ernesto Schargrodsky show that child mortality fell 5 to 7 percent in areas that privatized their water services.

In some of the poorest areas surveyed, the authors estimate that the child mortality rate dropped 24 percent after water service was privatized.

The authors are also careful to note that, while privatization is associated with reductions in deaths from infectious and parasitic diseases, it was uncorrelated with deaths from causes unrelated to water conditions in these areas.

Read a short article from the Economist about the study;