An Economic Characterisation of Sanitation: Between the State’s Production and the Household’s Demand

CPR is pleased to invite you to a CORP seminar on
An Economic Characterisation of Sanitation: Between the State’s Production and the Household’s Demand
Chloé Leclère
Friday, 19 May 2017, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research
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Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ fails to promote sanitation in India. The private or domestic decisions vis-à-vis sanitation, produce negative externalities at the individual and collective levels, consequently, explaining the need for state intervention. In post-colonial India, sanitation has been a public concern since the 1980’s, but the most significant breach is the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) which was launched in 1999. The limited impact of this scheme led to a research agenda to explore the efficiency of the policy by examining factors such as good governance, devolution of funds and participatory development. The literature focuses on supply driven model to ensure provision of sanitation by the state on one hand and on the other hand, it highlights the determinants of the sanitation demand that have gained visibility with community led programs that reject monetary subsidies and focus on awareness and education.

Although economic terms prevail in the media, political and scientific debates, little attention is paid to the nature of sanitation as an economic good. It is yet a fundamental preliminary question that shapes the sanitation outcomes and helps to understand the behavior of all the actors involved. No theoretical framework is immediately adaptable to describe sanitation and its price. In fact, the main vector of information in Economics, is an unknown variable as there is no proper market. Based on the review of literature and close examination of several datasets [India Human Development Survey (IHDS), Census, National family Health Survey-III (NFHS-III), Sanitation Quality, Use, Access and Trends (SQUAT) survey], three major characteristics of sanitation in India have been identified. This talk will explore questions pertaining to the need of sanitation, what it produces and the process that relates a biologic imperative and the environment circumscribe a multi-dimensional scape.

Chloé Leclère is a PhD Scholar in Economics at the Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon in France. Her research focuses on sanitation policies in India and  explores the specificities related to evaluation of social programmes. She is a member of the research laboratory- Groupe d’Analyse et Théorie Economique Lyon-Saint Etienne in France. She is also affiliated with the Center for Social and Human sciences (CNRS, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) in New Delhi where she is conducting several projects on poverty alleviation in India. She is a former Teaching Fellow at the ENS de Lyon. She holds a Master’s degree in Economic Analysis and Policies  from Paris School of Economics in France and another Master’s in Social Sciences from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon in France.

Please RSVP to

CORP Seminar Series
This is the 12th in the series of the Community of Research and Practice (CORP) seminar planned by the Scaling City Institutions for India: Sanitation (SCI-FI: Sanitation) initiative. This seminar series aims to provide a platform for discussing the experiences of the researchers and practitioners on urban sanitation. Through these discussions, the sanitation initiative intends to build a stronger evidence base for developing policies, programmes and implementation of plans for achieving sanitised cities.

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