Working Paper

What Is the Equity-Efficiency Tradeoff when Maintaining Wells in Rural Haiti?


Abstract: This paper quantitatively compares water infrastructure interventions that prioritize equity with those that prioritize efficiency. The community-based model developed by Haiti Outreach (HO) trains communities to operate and maintain wells, and has clear effi ciency gains over the status quo aid model in Haiti that gives communities wells: HO?s wells were 8.7 percentage points more likely to be functioning after one year than similarly-constructed wells managed under the status quo model. Because HO?s model includes user fees, which raise concerns about equity, I quantify the equity-efficiency tradeoff posed by community-based and aid interventions by determining the preferences of a social planner indifferent between these types of water infrastructure interventions. Since HO?s user fees are only 0.6 percent of median income in rural Haiti, under most specifications the efficiency gains of the community-based model outweigh the equity concerns addressed by the aid model.

Keywords: Haiti; Haiti Outreach; Community-Based Water Intervention; Well Maintenance; Non-Governmental Organization (NGO); Water-Person-Year.;

JEL Classification: I1; O1; O2; O3; Q2;

Access Documents

Authors

Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Part of Series: Working Papers (Old Series)

Publication Date: 2014-10-27

Number: 1424

Pages: 36 pages