Arsenic contamination of drinking water and mental health

Klaus F. Zimmermann, Princeton University and UNU-MERIT, Maastricht, spoke on 4 November 2016  in a Research Seminar at McMaster University about “Arsenic contamination of drinking water and mental health” in Bangladesh.

The paper investigates the effect of drinking arsenic contaminated water on mental health. Drinking water with an unsafe arsenic level for a prolonged period can lead to arsenicosis and associated illness. In contrast to the existing literature, it provides objective measures of arsenic exposure and take advantage of the quasi-randomness of arsenic distribution to account for the potential endogeneity of developing arsenicosis related to possible selection of certain households into using safe or unsafe sources of water. The paper takes the pre-1999 use of TW as an instrument and structural modelling as alternatives for robustness checks. Suffering from an arsenicosis symptom is strongly negatively related to mental health, even more so than from other illnesses.

See Working Paper #607, Princeton University, Industrial Relations Section and Centre  for Health Economics and Policy Analysis. Mike Veall, Professor in the Economics Department chaired the lecture and introduced Zimmermann.

Veall is a long-term research partner of Zimmermann. They have published work on dynamic consumer demand systems and on Pseudo-R2 measures in limited-dependent probability models, among others.


Prof. Klaus F. Zimmermann, left; and Prof. Mike Veall, McMaster University.


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