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Interventions to Mitigate Indoor Air Pollution: A Cost-Benefit Analysis


  • Muhammad Irfan

    (University of Waikato)

  • Michael P. Cameron

    (University of Waikato)

  • Gazi Hassan

    (University of Waikato)


Globally, around three billion people depend upon solid fuels such as firewood, dry animal dung, crop residues, or coal, and use traditional stoves for cooking and heating purposes. This solid fuel combustion causes indoor air pollution (IAP) and severely impairs health and the environment, especially in developing countries like Pakistan. A number of alternative household energy strategies can be adopted to mitigate IAP, such as using liquid petroleum gas (LPG), natural gas, biogas, electric stoves, or improved cook stoves (ICS). In this study, we estimate the benefit-cost ratios and net present value of these interventions over a ten-year period in Pakistan. Annual costs include both fixed and operating costs, whereas benefits cover health, productivity gains, time savings, and fuel savings. We find that LPG has the highest benefit-cost ratio followed by Natural gas, and ICS has the lowest benefit-cost ratio. Electric stoves, and biogas have moderate benefit-cost ratios that nevertheless exceed one. To maximize the return on cleaner burning technology, the government of Pakistan should consider encouraging the adoption of LPG, piped natural gas, and electric stoves as means to reduce IAP and adopt clean technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • 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, revised 06 Jan 2021.
  • Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:18/14

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Muhammad Irfan & Michael P. Cameron & Gazi Hassan, 2021. "Can income growth alone increase household consumption of cleaner fuels? Evidence from Pakistan," ECONOMICS AND POLICY OF ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2021(2), pages 121-146.

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    More about this item


    indoor air pollution; interventions; cost-benefit analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q47 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy Forecasting

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