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Master Thesis

The subjective well-being impact of water insecurity: a quasi-experimental evidence from peri-urban Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Abstract : Recent researches suggest that insecurity of access to key resources (eg: food, water, electricity) is associated with negative mental health outcomes and signs of anxiety and depression especially in developing countries. In this Master’s thesis, we investigate the influence of water insecurity on subjective well-being. The data come from surveys conducted in a municipality in the peri-urban area of Kinshasa called N’Sele, as part of the impact evaluation of the PILAEP 2 project, which aims to build self-sufficient drinking water solutions in the periphery of Kinshasa. The data include 2,345 individuals who self-declared themselves knowledgeable about water activities from different households in 15 neighbourhoods of N’Sele and they are interviewed in two waves (a baseline in 2018 and a follow-up in 2019). In this thesis, we relate three measures of subjective well-being: emotional distress (represented by Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale ’PSS-score’), happiness measure and life satisfaction index, while water insecurity is approximated by the amount of water collected by the household in the week prior to the survey. In order to avoid the endogeneity of the amount of water collected induced by the self-selection of households in the area where they settle, our identification strategy is based on 2SLS estimates taking a second-order polynomial form of the rainfall shock as instrument. We also include socio-economic variables such as employment status, economics of the household, asset characteristics, and health status to control for confounding factors. The first stage indicates a non-zero impact of our instrument on the explanatory variable and our results for the second stage identify a negative and significant relationship between the amount of water collected and the level of stress: namely, a one-liter increase in the amount of water collected during the week preceding the survey decreased on average the PSS score by 0.004, ceteris paribus. For the alternative measures of well-being, our results for the ordered probit regression model indicate a positive and significant relationship between happiness or life satisfaction and the amount of water collected. These results are encouraging for the formulation of policy measures regarding access to water and maximising happiness, but above all a policy agenda to improve water supply infrastructure is vital to avoid water-related diseases and deaths that subsequently influence the depression levels, the happiness and life satisfaction of sufferers and their relatives, knowing that, according to WHO and UNICEF (2017), unsafe water and inadequate sanitation and hygiene are responsible for 88% of the thousand million cases of diarrhoea that result in 1.6 million deaths per year.
Document type :
Master Thesis
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Contributor : Paris School of Economics École d'économie de Paris Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 11:48:27 AM
Last modification on : Friday, April 29, 2022 - 10:12:58 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 7:01:21 PM


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  • HAL Id : dumas-03461195, version 1



Ny Sata Andrianirina. The subjective well-being impact of water insecurity: a quasi-experimental evidence from peri-urban Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Economics and Finance. 2021. ⟨dumas-03461195⟩



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