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Poverty and firewood consumption : A case study of rural households in northern China

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  • Sylvie Démurger

    ()
    (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure de Lyon)

  • Martin Fournier

    ()
    (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure de Lyon)

Abstract

This paper discusses the determinants of firewood consumption in a poor township in rural northern China, with a special focus on the relationship between households' economic wealth and firewood consumption. We find strong support for the poverty-environment hypothesis since household economic wealth is a significant and negative determinant of firewood consumption. Firewood can therefore be considered as an inferior good for the whole population in the rural area under study, although further evidence shows that at the top of the wealth distribution, there might be a floor effect in the decreasing firewood consumption. Besides economic wealth, our analysis also shows that the own-price effect is important in explaining firewood consumption behavior, the price effect gaining importance with rising incomes. Finally, increasing education is also found to be a key factor in energy consumption behavior, especially when dealing with energy source switching behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00522660.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Publication status: Published, China Economic Review, 2011, 22, 4, pp. 512-523
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00522660

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Keywords: firewood consumption; poverty; natural resources protection; China;

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  1. Pranab Bardhan & Jean-Marie Baland & Sanghamitra Das & Dilip Mookherjee & Rinki Sarkar, 2002. "The Environmental Impact of Poverty: Evidence from Firewood Collection in Rural Nepal," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-126, Boston University - Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Iniwasikima D. Poloamina & Ufot Clement Umoh, 2013. "The determinants of electricity access in Sub-Saharan Africa," The Empirical Econometrics and Quantitative Economics Letters, Faculty of Economics, Chiang Mai University, vol. 2(4), pages 65 - 74, December.
  2. Fidelis O. Ogwumike & Uchechukwu M. Ozughalu & Gabriel A. Abiona, 2014. "Household Energy Use and Determinants: Evidence from Nigeria," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 4(2), pages 248-262.
  3. Wang, Chengchao & Yang, Yusheng & Zhang, Yaoqi, 2012. "Rural household livelihood change, fuelwood substitution, and hilly ecosystem restoration: Evidence from China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 2475-2482.
  4. Jingchao, Zhang & Kotani, Koji, 2012. "The determinants of household energy demand in rural Beijing: Can environmentally friendly technologies be effective?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 381-388.

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