Water, poverty and time allocation in Mexico: A comparative analysis for the design of a doubledividend policy
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Palabras Clave
Uso del Tiempo
Doble diviendo
México water access
poverty alleviation

How to Cite

Guevara Sangines, A. E., & Lara Pulido, J. A. (2015). Water, poverty and time allocation in Mexico: A comparative analysis for the design of a doubledividend policy. Nova Scientia, 7(15), 462–481. https://doi.org/10.21640/ns.v7i15.134


Introduction: Water scarcity and pollution affect large sectors of the population, but they occur excessively on the poor. Access to water has been recognized by the United Nations as a fundamental right (UN, 2010), thus if the government does not grant universal access to water, it would be preventing the full realization of Human Rights. The relationship between water availability and poverty is of great importance for the public health and social equity. This essay studies the relationship between lack of access to water, the time dedicated to work and income levels

Method: With information taken from two waves of the National Survey on Time-Use 2002 and 2009 (INEGI) it is estimated the gap in income and hours worked among people who allocated time fetching water and those that did not perform this activity by a propensity score matching method, which considers personal characteristics and municipality level characteristics.

Results: In both cases, there is a statistically significant difference, its lower in 2009 than in 2002, however it persists. Caeteris paribus, in the first case, the household income-gap was of 18% in 2002 and of 12% in 2009. In the second, the time allocated to work of a person who carries water decreased about 13% in 2002 and about 10% in 2009. These results suggest that the lack of access to water is a condition that has a significant impact in making a person more susceptible to fall into a condition of poverty. Discussion or

Conclusion: Thus, a public policy aiming at increasing water supply coverage will directly increase beneficiaries’ wellbeing while alleviating their poverty levels by increasing time devoted to productive activities. Water provision then, yields a double dividend. We estimate the net present value of the cost of providing a new water connection at household level (5,305 pesos) and the net present value of the additional income that would rise if a person does not have to carry water. We found that investing in water provision is cost effective a valuable way to reduce poverty

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