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

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  • Sylvie Démurger

    () (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69003, France; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne, UMR 5824, 93, chemin des Mouilles, Ecully, F-69130, France; ENS-LSH, Lyon, France)

  • Martin Fournier

    () (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69003, France; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne, UMR 5824, 93, chemin des Mouilles, Ecully, F-69130, France; ENS-LSH, Lyon, France)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sylvie Démurger & Martin Fournier, 2010. "Poverty and firewood consumption : A case study of rural households in northern China," Working Papers 1020, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
  • Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1020
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    Cited by:

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    9. Yang, Jing & Song, Kaihui & Hou, Jian & Zhang, Peidong & Wu, Jinhu, 2017. "Temporal and spacial dynamics of bioenergy-related CO2 emissions and underlying forces analysis in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 1323-1330.
    10. 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.
    11. Guta, Dawit Diriba, 2014. "Effect of fuelwood scarcity and socio-economic factors on household bio-based energy use and energy substitution in rural Ethiopia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 217-227.
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    15. 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.
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    21. repec:eee:eneeco:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:49-59 is not listed on IDEAS
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    23. Rahut, Dil Bahadur & Behera, Bhagirath & Ali, Akhter, 2017. "Factors determining household use of clean and renewable energy sources for lighting in Sub-Saharan Africa," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 661-672.
    24. Angelsen, Arild & Jagger, Pamela & Babigumira, Ronnie & Belcher, Brian & Hogarth, Nicholas J. & Bauch, Simone & Börner, Jan & Smith-Hall, Carsten & Wunder, Sven, 2014. "Environmental Income and Rural Livelihoods: A Global-Comparative Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(S1), pages 12-28.
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    Keywords

    firewood consumption; poverty; natural resources protection; China;

    JEL classification:

    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables

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