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Up in Smoke: The Influence of Household Behavior on the Long-Run Impact of Improved Cooking Stoves

Author

Listed:
  • Rema Hanna
  • Esther Duflo
  • Michael Greenstone

Abstract

Laboratory studies suggest that improved cooking stoves can reduce indoor air pollution, improve health, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries. We provide evidence, from a large-scale randomized trial in India, on the benefits of a common, laboratory-validated stove with a four-year follow-up. While smoke inhalation initially falls, this effect disappears by year two. We find no changes across health outcomes or greenhouse gas emissions. Households used the stoves irregularly and inappropriately, failed to maintain them, and usage declined over time. This study underscores the need to test environmental technologies in real-world settings where behavior may undermine potential impacts. (JEL D12, O12, O13, Q53, Q54, Q55)

Suggested Citation

  • Rema Hanna & Esther Duflo & Michael Greenstone, 2016. "Up in Smoke: The Influence of Household Behavior on the Long-Run Impact of Improved Cooking Stoves," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 80-114, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:8:y:2016:i:1:p:80-114
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20140008
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

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