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Improved cooking stoves that end up in smoke?

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  • Grimm, Michael
  • Peters, Jörg

Abstract

More than 2.7 billion people in developing countries rely on biomass for cooking with profound implications for their well-being. Two million people die every year due to cooking related smoke emissions - more than are killed by malaria. In recent years, an international movement has gained momentum on the level of the United Nations that intends to combat this plight by the dissemination of improved cooking stoves. A recent study conducted by Hanna, Duflo and Greenstone based on a field experiment in India has attracted much attention, also in the popular press. It does not confirm the optimistic results on the impacts of improved cooking stoves that hitherto can be found in the literature. Editorial notes in newspapers like the New York Times took up findings from the study and vehemently criticized the international efforts to improve access to cleaner cooking fuels as ineffective. The present RWI Positionen policy paper argues that this journalistic verdict is premature and that the results of the study are overstressed. While the study is in principle a meaningful contribution to the improved stoves literature, its findings are very specific to the local environment in which it was conducted and as we argue the insights can barely be transferred to other areas in the developing world.

Suggested Citation

  • Grimm, Michael & Peters, Jörg, 2012. "Improved cooking stoves that end up in smoke?," RWI Positionen 52, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwipos:52
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/65379/1/726200077.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas, 2008. "Free Distribution or Cost-Sharing? Evidence from a Malaria Prevention Experiment," NBER Working Papers 14406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, Randomization, and Learning about Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 424-455, June.
    3. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_instruments_randomization_learning_all_04april_2010 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bensch, Gunther & Peters, Jörg, 2011. "Combating Deforestation? – Impacts of Improved Stove Dissemination on Charcoal Consumption in Urban Senegal," Ruhr Economic Papers 306, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    5. Nava Ashraf & James Berry & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "Can Higher Prices Stimulate Product Use? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Zambia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2383-2413, December.
    6. Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas, 2010. "Free Distribution or Cost-Sharing? Evidence from a Randomized Malaria Prevention Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 1-45.
    7. Alessandro Tarozzi & Aprajit Mahajan & Brian Blackburn & Dan Kopf & Lakshmi Krishnan & Joanne Yoong, 2014. "Micro-loans, Insecticide-Treated Bednets, and Malaria: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Orissa, India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 1909-1941, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Langbein, Jörg & Peters, Jörg & Vance, Colin, 2017. "Outdoor cooking prevalence in developing countries and its implication for clean cooking policies," Ruhr Economic Papers 680, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Tsukada, Rachel & Dupuy, Arnaud, 2016. "The impact of household labor-saving technologies along the family life cycle," MERIT Working Papers 047, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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