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Gender Differences in Preferences, Intra-Household Externalities, and Low Demand for Improved Cookstoves

  • Grant Miller
  • A. Mushfiq Mobarak

This paper examines whether an intra-household externality prevents adoption of a technology with substantial implications for population health and the environment: improved cookstoves. Motivated by a model of intra-household decision-making, the experiment markets stoves to husbands or wives in turn at randomly varying prices. We find that women - who bear disproportionate cooking costs - have stronger preference for healthier stoves, but lack the authority to make purchases. Our findings suggest that if women cannot make independent choices about household resource use, public policy may not be able to exploit gender differences in preferences to promote technology adoption absent broader social change.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18964.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18964.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18964
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