Heterogeneous Effects of Information on Household Behaviors to Improve Water Quality. Working Paper EE 14-July 2014.
Authors: Joe Brown*Amar Hamoudi‡ Marc Jeuland§ Gina Turrini†
*Faculty of Infectious Disease & Tropical Medicine, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; firstname.lastname@example.org‡Sanford School of Public Policy & Department of Economics, Duke University; email@example.com§Sanford School of Public Policy & Department of Economics, Duke University; firstname.lastname@example.org†Department of Economics, Duke University; email@example.com
Providing information about health risks only sometimes induces protective action. This raises questions about whether and how risk information is understood and acted upon, and how responses vary across contexts. We stratified a randomized experiment across two periurban areas in Cambodia, which differed in terms of socioeconomic status and infrastructure. In one area, showing households specific evidence of water contamination altered their beliefs about health risk and increased their demand for a treatment product; in the other area, it had no effect on these outcomes. These findings highlight the importance of identifying specific drivers of responses to health risk information.