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Demand for Information on Environmental Health Risk, Mode of Delivery, and Behavioral Change: Evidence from Sonargaon, Bangladesh

Ricardo Maertens, Alessandro Tarozzi, Kazi Matin Ahmed and Alexander van Geen

Working Papers from eSocialSciences

Abstract: Lack of access to reliable information on environmental exposure limits opportunities for risk avoiding behavior, particularly in developing countries. Private markets could potentially play a role in providing such information if households cannot rely on the public sector. We describe results from a randomized controlled trial conducted in Bangladesh to determine, first, to what extent charging a modest fee for an environmental test limits demand and, second, how different modes of information delivery can affect demand for and behavioral responses to such information. In rural Bangladesh, millions of individuals are chronically exposed to arsenic by drinking contaminated water from their private well. Well tests for arsenic have previously been shown to encourage a sizeable fraction of households owning an unsafe well to switch to a safer source that, typically, is within walking distance.

Keywords: eSS; Arsenic; Bangladesh; Environmental Health Risk; environmental exposure; Information on Environmental Health Risk; Mode of Delivery; Behavioral Change; private market; public sector; drinking contaminated water; private well; unsafe well; Bangladesh (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-10
Note: Institutional Papers
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