We have conducted pilot experiments that aim to incentivize use of clean stoves in 4 rural Cambodian villages to better 1) understand their potential for inducing behavior change; 2) assess their feasibility; and 3) discern whether larger-scale testing in a future experimental study is warranted. Specifically, we have tested if monetary incentives that are commensurate with social benefits induce households to use cleaner technologies more intensively. We compare groups with no use incentives and 3 groups receiving varying levels of incentives (low, medium, high).
This study idea is motivated by the now well-documented observation that purchase alone is insufficient for achieving environmental health and other benefits, even among demand-driven interventions. For one, technologies that are successfully aligned with preferences and marketed to households must be sufficiently clean and sufficiently used (not just stacked with other technologies) to reduce harmful exposures to air pollution. Given that many of the benefits from use of cleaner technologies (e.g., reduced black carbon and health-damaging PM2.5 emissions, and preservation of local forest stocks) are external to those adopting them, incentives for use may be misaligned. Second, these alternative technologies must be viable over the long term, standing up to the wear and tear of daily use, allowing for servicing and repair, and proving adaptable to a range of food preparations.