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

  • 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)

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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File URL: ftp://ftp.gate.cnrs.fr/RePEc/2010/1020.pdf
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Paper provided by Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure in its series Working Papers with number 1020.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1020
Contact details of provider: Postal: 93, chemin des Mouilles - B.P.167 69131 - Ecully cedex
Phone: 33(0)472 29 30 89
Fax: 33(0)47229 30 90
Web page: http://www.gate.cnrs.fr/

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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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