, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 55–82 | Cite as

Heterogeneous treatment effects of safe water on infectious disease: Do meteorological factors matter?

  • Kota OgasawaraEmail author
  • Yukitoshi Matsushita
Original Paper


Mortality from waterborne infectious diseases remains a serious issue globally. Investigating the efficient laying plan of waterworks to mitigate the risk factors for such diseases has been an important research avenue for industrializing countries. While a growing body of the literature has revealed the mitigating effects of water-purification facilities on diseases, the heterogeneous treatment effects of clean water have been understudied. The present study thus focuses on the treatment effect heterogeneity of piped water with respect to the external meteorological environment of cities in industrializing Japan. To estimate the varying effects, we implement fixed-effects semivarying coefficient models to deal with the unobservable confounding factors, using a nationwide city-level panel dataset between 1922 and 1940. We find evidence that the magnitude of safe water on the reduction in the typhoid death rate is larger in cities with a higher temperature, which is consistent with recent epidemiological evidence. These findings underscore the importance of the variations in the external meteorological conditions of the municipalities that install water-purification facilities in developing countries.


Climate Heterogeneous treatment effects Panel-data analysis Public health Semi/nonparametric estimation 

JEL Classification

C14 I18 Q54 N55 



This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant No. 16K17153. There are no conflicts of interest to declare. The authors wish to thank the editor, two anonymous referees, and Badi Baltagi for helpful comments on the paper. We also thank Tatsuki Inoue for excellent research assistance.

Supplementary material

11698_2017_169_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (3.8 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 3855 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Social SciencesChiba UniversityChibaJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of EconomicsHitotsubashi UniversityKunitachiJapan

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