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Thematic session: Cooking Energy Transitions and their Environmental and Health Impacts

Nearly 40% of the world’s population relies on biomass (e.g., wood, charcoal) to meet their daily cooking needs, with far-reaching impacts on household air quality and respiratory health, time use and gender dynamics, deforestation, and regional to global climate. Transitioning to cleaner cooking solutions is a policy priority, yet progress has been slow in many regions.

The papers in this session illustrate the contributions that environmental economics is making to this pressing challenge.  Specifically, these papers study cooking energy transitions and their impacts in Africa and South Asia. The studies use a combination of experimental and quasi-experimental approaches, as well as innovative and interdisciplinary data sources.  They examine determinants of household fuel and technology choices, including peer effects and gender dynamics, and the impacts of these choices on environmental and health outcomes, including household air quality, personal exposures, and health endpoints like blood pressure and shortness of breath.  In this session, presenters will draw on their results and collective experience in this sector to reflect on the role of environmental economics in understanding and tackling the household energy challenge, including successes, failures, and future directions.

Organizer(s): Katherine Dickinson, Colorado School of Public Health

Chair: Katherine Dickinson, Colorado School of Public Health

  1. Prices, Peers, and Perceptions: Field experiments on improved cookstove adoption in Ghana
    Katherine Dickinson, Zachary Brown, Maxwell Dalaba, Rex Alirigia, Evan Coffey, Elise Mesenbring, Desmond Agao, Michael Hannigan, Abraham Oduro
  2. Effects of information on energy related choices: Experimental evidence from rural Uttar Pradesh and Kerala
    P.P. Krishnapriya, Rohini Somanathan
  3. LPG Adoption in Rural Communities of South India
    Robert Bailis, Puneet Dwivedi, Andrew Grieshop, Abhishek Kar, Julian Marshall, Hisham Zerriffi
  4. Early adoption of an improved household energy system in urban Rwanda
    Pamela Jagger, Ipsita Das, Sudhanshu Handa, Leena A. Nylander-French, Karin Yeatts