In this report, the authors develop and estimate a model of household defensive behavior and illness. Using cross-section data from a household survey in Jakarta, they observe defensive behavior (washing hands after using the toilet) consistent with expectations: defensive effort intensifies with exposure to contamination, and with income and education. Variables associated with the cost of defensive behavior - such as interruptions in the water supply - reduce defensive behavior. The data suggest that wealthier households are no less vulnerable to illness. The water sources that supply the wealthy (the water company and private wells) are disrupted more often, interfering with their defensive behavior. There is also evidence, although weak, to support findings by van der Slice and Briscoe (1993): that pathogens within a household are less harmful to household members than are pathogens originating from other households. Given the opportunity and knowledge, individuals try to modify the effect of contamination on the incidence of diarrhea. But diarrhea's inccidence is also affected by decisions and problems outside the realm of the household, including the performance of the water company.
Water Conservation,Water and Industry,Health Economics&Finance,Environmental Economics&Policies,Sanitation and Sewerage,Town Water Supply and Sanitation,Water and Industry,Water Supply and Sanitation Governance and Institutions,Water Conservation,Health Economics&Finance
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