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Depression in the House: The Effects of Household Air Pollution from Solid Fuel Use in China


  • Liu, Yan
  • Chen, Xi
  • Yan, Zhijun


While adverse health effects of ambient air pollution have been well documented, there is scarce evidence on the impact of household air pollution (HAP) on mental health. We investigated the causal link between HAP exposure from the use of solid fuel on depressive symptoms using a nationally representative dataset of middle-aged and older population in China. Employing the propensity match score method (PSM), matching and adjusting for potential confounders, we found significantly higher Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) score and risk of depressive symptoms among solid fuel users than clean fuel users. These associations were especially stronger for older females who were less educated, of lower income, of higher body mass index, or had chronic diseases.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Yan & Chen, Xi & Yan, Zhijun, 2019. "Depression in the House: The Effects of Household Air Pollution from Solid Fuel Use in China," GLO Discussion Paper Series 407, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:407

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marc Jeuland & Subhrendu K. Pattanayak & Randall Bluffstone, 2015. "The Economics of Household Air Pollution," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 81-108, October.
    2. Banerjee, Madhuchhanda & Siddique, Shabana & Dutta, Anindita & Mukherjee, Bidisha & Ranjan Ray, Manas, 2012. "Cooking with biomass increases the risk of depression in pre-menopausal women in India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 565-572.
    3. Zhang, Xin & Zhang, Xiaobo & Chen, Xi, 2017. "Happiness in the air: How does a dirty sky affect mental health and subjective well-being?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 81-94.
    4. Ho, Daniel E. & Imai, Kosuke & King, Gary & Stuart, Elizabeth A., 2007. "Matching as Nonparametric Preprocessing for Reducing Model Dependence in Parametric Causal Inference," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 199-236, July.
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    More about this item


    Depression; Household solid fuel use; Household air pollution; Propensity Score Matching; CHARLS;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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