School of Public Health
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
Institutional Affiliations: UC Berkeley and NEERMAN, Mumbai
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2015||How Does Health Promotion Work? Evidence From The Dirty Business of Eliminating Open Defecation|
with Paul Gertler, Manisha Shah, Maria Laura Alzua, Lisa Cameron, Sebastian Martinez: w20997
We investigate the mechanisms underlying health promotion campaigns designed to eliminate open defecation in at-scale randomized field experiments in four countries: India, Indonesia, Mali, and Tanzania. Health promotion works through a number of mechanisms, including: providing information on the return to better behavior, nudging better behavior that one already knows is in her self-interest, and encouraging households to invest in health products that lower the marginal cost of good behavior. We find that health promotion generally worked through both convincing households to invest in in-home sanitation facilities and nudging increased use of those facilities.
We also estimate the causal relationship between village open defecation rates and child height using experimentally induced...