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Households’ Energy Mix Selection in Pakistan


  • Muhammad Irfan

    () (University of Waikato)

  • Michael P. Cameron

    () (University of Waikato)

  • Gazi Hassan

    () (University of Waikato)


Despite the adverse effects of biomass fuels on health and the environment, the use of solid fuels at the household level for cooking, lighting and heating purposes is very common in developing countries such as Pakistan. Globally almost 3 billion people depend on traditional or conventional solid energy sources for cooking. These solid fuels are a major cause of indoor air pollution and can severely damage health and the environment, so there is a need to better understand the factors that lead to the consumption of solid fuels. This study analyzes data from the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) Survey 2013-14 to establish the non-price factors associated with the fuel mix selection of households. A novel aspect of the study is that, rather than treating fuel choices as independent, we first group household fuel mix choices into categories using cluster analysis. We then apply multinomial logit models to investigate the factors associated with households’ fuel mix selection. We find that income, education, agricultural occupation and urban location are strongest factors associated with the selection of a mix of fuels that is substantially made up of clean fuels, while agricultural occupation, large family size, and having cattle are associated with fuel mixes that are more heavily based on solid fuels. Moreover, we show that income growth is unlikely to lead to substantial uptake of cleaner fuels in rural areas. Our results suggest that the government, if concerned about indoor air pollution, should rapidly increase the availability of natural gas and electricity connections to support a shift to cleaner fuel mixes.

Suggested Citation

  • Muhammad Irfan & Michael P. Cameron & Gazi Hassan, 2017. "Households’ Energy Mix Selection in Pakistan," Working Papers in Economics 17/28, University of Waikato.
  • Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:17/28

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Farsi, Mehdi & Filippini, Massimo & Pachauri, Shonali, 2007. "Fuel choices in urban Indian households," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(06), pages 757-774, December.
    2. Ouedraogo, Boukary, 2006. "Household energy preferences for cooking in urban Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 3787-3795, December.
    3. Hosier, Richard H. & Dowd, Jeffrey, 1987. "Household fuel choice in Zimbabwe : An empirical test of the energy ladder hypothesis," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 347-361, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Muhammad Irfan & Michael P. Cameron & Gazi Hassan, 2018. "Interventions to Mitigate Indoor Air Pollution: A Cost-Benefit Analysis," Working Papers in Economics 18/14, University of Waikato.

    More about this item


    fuel choice; energy mix; Pakistan;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • P18 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Energy; Environment
    • P28 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Natural Resources; Environment

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