Walking on solid ground: a replication study on Piso Firme’s impact
3ie Replication Paper 7, 2015
This replication study re-examines some of the limited existing research on how quality of housing affects health and socioeconomic outcomes, including household measures of health for children and mothers. The replication researchers, María Pía Basurto, Ramiro Burga, José Luis Flor Toro and César Huaroto, reproduce the published findings in their pure replication. They then extend their analysis to explore alternative definitions and measurement strategies in their measurement and estimation analysis (MEA) and look at possible heterogeneous impacts in their theory of change analysis (TCA).
The original study, Housing, Health and Happiness by Cattaneo et al. (2009), is a quasi-experimental impact evaluation of Piso Firme, a government intervention to replace dirt floors with cement flooring in Mexican households. The replication researchers find very similar results as the original study in their pure replication, with the introduction of cement floors increasing health measurements in both children and adults. The results remain generally robust to the alternative strategies introduced in the MEA. In their TCA results, the replication researchers found that households with initial high levels of cement floor coverage benefited less from this intervention than those with lower level of cement flooring at the beginning of the intervention.
3ie also invites formal replies from the original authors. These are published on the 3ie website together with the replication study.