Quality of Government and Quality of Water
According to a conservative estimation by the World Health Organization, 1.2 billion people lack access to sufficient quantities of safe water, and 2,6 billion people are without adequate sanitation. Consequently, 80 percent of all illnesses in the developing world are estimated to be the result of waterborne diseases claiming the lives of 1,8 million children every year. This paper investigates to what extent this problem is related to the quality of government (QoG) institutions. Two different water quality measures are used – one measuring ecosystem water quality and another measuring access to safe drinking water. The central question is if there is an independent effect of quality of government besides the effects of democratic rule and good economic resources. The results are that for ecosystem water quality, we could not fine that QoG had an independently positive effect. However, this result may have to do with the low quality of available data from many poor countries. Taking into consideration the interaction effect between QoG and economic prosperity, however, we find that there is an independent effect of government effectiveness on the access to safe drinking water, especially in poor countries.
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