Understanding demand for higher quality sanitation in peri-urban Lusaka, Zambia through stated and revealed preference analysis

In this paper, published in Social Science & Medicine, Tidwell et al. (2019) discuss the role of consumer demand in increasing peri-urban sanitation quality for tenants using shared sanitation. The authors analysed data on existing housing markets using the Hedonistic Pricing Method (HPM) to capture the percentage of rent attributable to sanitation quality. They also conducted discrete choice experiments (DCEs) to obtain willingness to pay (WTP) estimates for specific sanitation components and explored the implications this had on investment return for landlords making sanitation improvements. The study found that 18% of rental prices were attributed to sanitation and the tenants were willing to pay $2.20 more rent per month for flushing toilets on plots with running water and $3.39 more per month for solid toilet doors. Solid doors and flushing toilets had higher rent increase to cost ratios than other ways landlords commonly invested in their plots. Interventions leveraging landlords' profit motives could lead to significant improvements in peri-urban sanitation quality, reduced diarrheal disease transmission, and increased well-being without subsidies or infrastructure investments by government or NGOs.

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