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Housing, Health, and Happiness

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Abstract:

We investigate the impact of a large-scale Mexican program to replace dirt floors with cement floors on child health and adult happiness. We find that replacing dirt floors with cement significantly improves the health of young children measured by decreases in the incidence of parasitic infestations, diarrhea, and the prevalence of anemia, and an improvement in children's cognitive development. Additionally, we find significant improvements in adult welfare measured by increased satisfaction with their housing and quality of life, as well as by lower scores on depression and perceived stress scales.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/pol.1.1.75

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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  • American Economic Journal: Economic Policy publishes papers covering a range of topics, the common theme being the role of economic policy in economic outcomes. Subject areas include public economics; urban and regional economics; public policy aspects of health, education, welfare and political institutions; law and economics; economic regulation; and environmental and natural resource economics.
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