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Submitted by Luis on

Dear Tauhid,

Thank you for your interest and your pointing your paper out to us. As I explained to you by email, unfortunately, your paper did not pop up through the different searches we conducted for our literature review and we didn’t find any reference to it in the papers we revised. Even internally, at the Bank, we were not able to find it until we searched by the complete title in your paper. After you pointed this out to us, we found two entries: one in the Bank’s page and another in SSRN. I am including the link to it for the benefit of the readers: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2373894.

The blog is based on the paper we started working on in 2012. The paper was completed in November 2013 and we got clearance for publication the following month. Our paper is now available in the World Bank’s Policy Research Working Papers series: http://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/6737.html .

Last week, I read your paper with great interest and I am glad that we share a same interest. It is also encouraging that we find ‘sort of’ similar results. Apart from this, the papers followed different approaches, with different data, different outcomes indicators as well as different key explanatory variables. In our paper, all the results about sanitation are estimated for the impact of improved sanitation access (as JMP’s definition) and not,"latrine," as in your paper. Your paper uses the ratio of sick people in the household and the number of sick people in the household with in the previous six months of the survey as a health outcome. Among other differences, the period of recall is completely different (six months versus two weeks). While we focused only on diarrhea prevalence, you used seven symptoms where diarrhea is included as one. While your paper takes the health problems of all household members into account, we consider only children under 48 months of age. The numbers are also different. If we look at Table 5 in your paper the coefficient is -0.054. This differs from our 1.3% reduction in probability that was stated in the blog from the private access to sanitation. We also have a comprehensive section dedicated to counterfactual analysis that is not in your paper. Furthermore, while you have a nice discussion on hygiene behavior in your paper, we were not able to cover this issue in ours due to data constraints.

Moving forward, the fact that we missed your paper is entirely our fault. I will make sure that we include a reference to your paper on our future work on this topic.

Thanks again for your interest. I look forward to talking about this agenda in next time you visit Washington.

Regards,

Luis