This is a job market seminar organized for selected candidates from the European Job Market.
Public infrastructure development is prone to inefficiencies that can result in poor-quality implementation, but the consequences are unclear. This paper studies the effect on infant and under-five mortality of a nation-wide expansion of sewerage infrastructure, conducted by the Government of Peru between 2005 and 2015. I use novel administrative panel data at the district level and exploit random geography-driven variation in project allocation to instrument for sewerage diffusion. I document an increase in under-five mortality in districts that experienced greater sewerage diffusion. The result is linked to hazards from the construction works and was exacerbated by delays and mid-construction abandonment. The potential health benefits of sewerage fail to manifest even after completion of projects due to lack of household connectivity.