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Westminster College Assistant Professor Published in American Journal of Business Research

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Dr. Rotua Lumbantobing, Westminster College assistant professor of economics, was recently published in the American Journal of Business Research and presented research at the Southern Economic Association 82nd Annual Meeting Nov. 16-18 in New Orleans, LA.

"How Water Access Affects Housing Price in a Developing Country: A Hedonic Analysis" studies 1,723 households around the city of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Households obtain water from three sources: public water sources; private wells; and tap water access, where households pay a fee in exchange for a certain level of water service. The results show that a private tap water connection is capitalized into higher house prices. A benefit of the study is that it can be used to help governments in cost-benefit analysis of investment in public infrastructures, and can be used to measure changes in household welfare via water access improvements.

The American Journal of Business Research is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary academic journal based at Fayetteville State University. It is indexed in Cabell's Directories, ProQuest ABI Inform and EBSCO's Education Research Complete. The journal is available through EBSCO Publishing and ProQuest.

Lumbantobing's presentation "Sorting Equilibrium with Respect to Water Access: An Analysis of Household Location Choice in Southwestern Sri Lanka" extends the analysis in the paper above using sorting equilibrium framework. The model incorporates household preferences and their interaction with neighborhood characteristics. Results show that households value access to tap water, despite its service limitations, and like to have other alternative water access - such as a private well - to complement tap water. An important implication is that crowding out can be avoided when alternatives with comparable cost and quality exist.

Lumbantobing earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Indonesia, an MBA from the University of Rochester, and master's and Ph.D. degrees in economics from North Carolina State University.

Contact Lumbantobing at (724) 946-6061 or email for additional information.

Dr. Rotua Lumbantobing, assistant professor of economics