Revisiting Economic Costs of Arsenicosis
A PSM Approach
The present paper uses the propensity score matching (PSM) method to calculate the economic loss of arsenicosis-affected households. In contrast to prior studies, whose estimates of income loss were limited to labour-market sources, the PSM method controls for labour market and other sources of income, as well as demographic and educational factors, to identify losses from social discrimination. It first establishes that arsenicosis-affected households are subject to social discrimination, and then shows that this leads to a significant loss of expenditure. Second, it proves that overlooking social discrimination leads to an underestimation of income loss. The results have important implications, both for understanding the plight of arsenicosis-affected households and for cost–benefit calculations in the adoption of policies for fighting arsenic contamination.
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