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Fuel Choice, Indoor Air Pollution, and Children's Health

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  • John H. Y. Edwards

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

  • Christian Langpap

    ()
    (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Oregon State University)

Abstract

Much of the world population, particularly in developing countries, still relies on firewood to meet basic energy needs. The resulting indoor air pollution can have severe health consequences, particularly for young children who spend considerable time in close proximity to the fire while their mothers cook. In this paper we use data from a household survey to examine gas stove adoption, firewood consumption, and the resulting effects on the health of young children in Guatemala. Our findings suggest that cooking with firewood has significant negative impacts on children's respiratory health. We also find strong evidence that these impacts go well beyond respiratory problems and have much broader health effects. Simulation results indicate that policies which attempt to reduce the consumption of wood and/or accelerate the adoption of LPG may not be as effective at improving respiratory health as policies that target cooking habits to directly attempt to reduce exposure by young children. However, broader health effects are more effectively addressed by policies aimed directly at eliminating the use of wood fuel.

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File URL: http://econ.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul0803.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tulane University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0803.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:0803

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Keywords: indoor air pollution; health; children; fuel transition; firewood; Guatemala;

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References

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  1. John Strauss & Duncan Thomas, 1998. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 766-817, June.
  2. Heltberg, Rasmus, 2005. "Factors determining household fuel choice in Guatemala," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(03), pages 337-361, June.
  3. Alexander Pfaff & Shubham Chaudhuri & Howard Nye, 2004. "Household Production and Environmental Kuznets Curves – Examining the Desirability and Feasibility of Substitution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 27(2), pages 187-200, February.
  4. Alderman,Harold & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003. "Long-term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," FCND discussion papers 168, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker & Omar Haider Chowdhury & Daniel L. Millimet, 2003. "Credit Programs for the Poor And the Health Status of Children in Rural Bangladesh," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 87-118, February.
  6. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John & Henriques, Maria-Helena, 1990. "Child survival, height for age and household characteristics in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 197-234, October.
  7. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker & Omar Haider Chowdhury & Daniel L. Millimet, 1998. "Credit Programs for the Poor and the Nutritional Status of Children in Rural Bangladesh," Working Papers 98-4, Brown University, Department of Economics, revised 16 Jan 1998.
  8. Dasgupta, Susmita & Huq, Mainul & Khaliquzzaman, M. & Pandey, Kiran & Wheeler, David, 2004. "Indoor air quality for poor families: new evidence from Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3393, The World Bank.
  9. John H. Y. Edwards & Christian Langpap, 2005. "Startup Costs and the Decision to Switch from Firewood to Gas Fuel," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(4).
  10. Cebu Study Team, 1992. "A child health production function estimated from longitudinal data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 323-351, April.
  11. Rasmus Heltberg & Thomas Channing Arndt & Nagothu Udaya Sekhar, 2000. "Fuelwood Consumption and Forest Degradation: A Household Model for Domestic Energy Substitution in Rural India," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(2), pages 213-232.
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Cited by:
  1. Ziebarth, N. R.; & Schmitt, M.; & Karlsson, M.;, 2013. "The short-term population health effects of weather and pollution: implications of climate change," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 13/34, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. Jack Gregory & David I. Stern, 2012. "Fuel Choices in Rural Maharashtra," CCEP Working Papers 1207, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

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