Laboratory studies suggest that improved cooking stoves can reduce indoor air pollution, improve health, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries. We provide evidence, from a large-scale randomized trial in India, on the benefits of a common, laboratory-validated stove with a four-year follow-up. While smoke inhalation initially falls, this effect disappears by year two. We find no changes across health outcomes or greenhouse gas emissions. Households used the stoves irregularly and inappropriately, failed to maintain them, and usage declined over time. This study underscores the need to test environmental technologies in real-world settings where behavior may undermine potential impacts. (JEL D12, O12, O13, Q53, Q54, Q55)
Hanna, Rema, Esther Duflo, and Michael Greenstone.
"Up in Smoke: The Influence of Household Behavior on the Long-Run Impact of Improved Cooking Stoves."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming
Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation