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2016-07-01 | Peer Reviewed

Individual status quo modelling for a rural water service in Rwanda: application of a choice experiment

Uwera, Claudine and Jesper Stage. 2016. “Individual status quo modelling for a rural water service in Rwanda: application of a choice experiment.” Environment and Development Economics 21:04: 490-511.
Download reference Doi:10.1017/S1355770X15000364

Abstract: In Rwanda, rural water supply is not uniformly distributed. Rural areas are characterized by differences in the distance to the nearest water point and in water quality for domestic water, by watering frequency and water availability for irrigation water, and by the price for both. A household's perception of further improvements in water supply will, therefore, depend heavily on the situation it currently faces. The authors used a choice experiment to model how the individual status quo (SQ) affects preferences. Accounting for individual SQ information improves model significance relative to simply using the generic SQ parameter in the model, and the willingness to pay increases. Not using this information leads to a downward bias – and, in some cases, statistical insignificance – in estimates of households’ valuation of health improvements linked to improved domestic water availability, as well as of increased watering frequency linked to the improved availability of irrigation water.