HDR Candidate: Dao Dinh Nguyen

Title: The economics of child health: Determinants of child physical and mental health and their long-term consequences

Milestone: Confirmation

Time and date: 1pm, Tuesday 2nd November

Zoom link: https://uqz.zoom.us/j/4395418104

On-premises piped water is the most essential and highest quality water source. The programmes and policies on increasing safe water access coverage of developing countries have supported increasing the percentage of households having the piped water source inside their dwelling. However, its provision has not been specifically emphasized in these programmes and policies. The majority of the households, especially those in rural areas and those from the poor, have access to clean drinking water outside their houses.

Based on the health economics theories of Grossman (1972) and Jacobson (2000), the study sets out to explore how changes in access to piped water on household’s premises affect changes in children's anthropometric health, measured by height-for-age z-score and BMI-for-age z-score. The piped water source inside the home could help reduce water storage and collection time, thus reducing the risk of contamination and germ growing. The higher the water quality, the lower the risk of facing diarrhea, subsequently enhancing child anthropometric outcomes. Besides, the study also considers the role of mother's education in this water-health relationship. We also further specifically identify the relationship in 5-year-old children.

The panel data from the Young Lives Study project that covers a number of criteria related in three countries, namely Ethiopia, India, and Vietnam, has been used for the analysis. Following the leave-out community strategy of Mangyo (2008), we establish our possible instruments to address the endogeneity problem of household’s piped-water accessibility. We find that access to piped water sources inside the dwelling supports improving child height and BMI in developing countries. Besides, we also find the significant role of the higher educational level of mothers on the relationship between piped water access and child BMI status. Regarding the most crucial milestone of child development, our study indicates the enormously significant impacts of on-plot piped water accessibility on both the height and BMI status of 5-year-old kids. Our estimated results also have some policy implications.