Impacts of Improved Biomass Cookstoves on Child and Adult Health: Experimental Evidence from Rural Ethiopia

35 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2019

See all articles by Daniel LaFave

Daniel LaFave

Colby College

Abebe Damte Beyene

World Bank

Randall Bluffstone

University of Reading

Sahan Dissanayake

Colby College - Department of Economics

Zenebe Gebreegziabher

Mekelle University - Department of Economics

Alemu Mekonnen

Addis Ababa University - Department of Economics

Michael Toman

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: June 28, 2019

Abstract

This paper presents the three-year impacts of an improved biomass cookstove on child and adult health in rural Ethiopia. After near complete stove adoption during an initial one-year randomized controlled trial, 60 percent of treatment households continued to use the improved stoves three-years on and experienced reductions in hazardous airborne particulate matter. The study finds that treatment status is associated with a precisely estimated 0.3-0.4 standard deviation improvement in height-for-age of young children exposed during their first years of life, compared with a control group of households that never used the improved stove. This is a substantial effect with implications for greater health and well-being throughout the life course. However, the study finds no changes in the respiratory symptoms or physical functioning of older children and adult cooks in treated households relative to control households. The results advance understanding of the health impacts of hazardous air pollution while also refining the design and implementation options for interventions geared toward improving well-being in similar environments.

Keywords: Health Care Services Industry, Pollution Management & Control, Air Quality & Clean Air, Brown Issues and Health, Educational Sciences, Gender and Development, Global Environment

Suggested Citation

LaFave, Daniel and Beyene, Abebe Damte and Bluffstone, Randall and Dissanayake, Sahan and Gebreegziabher, Zenebe and Mekonnen, Alemu and Toman, Michael, Impacts of Improved Biomass Cookstoves on Child and Adult Health: Experimental Evidence from Rural Ethiopia (June 28, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8929. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3430541

Abebe Damte Beyene

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Randall Bluffstone

University of Reading ( email )

Whiteknights
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

Sahan Dissanayake

Colby College - Department of Economics ( email )

Waterville, ME 04901
United States

Zenebe Gebreegziabher

Mekelle University - Department of Economics ( email )

Adi Haki Campus
Post Box No. 451
Mekelle
Ethiopia

Alemu Mekonnen

Addis Ababa University - Department of Economics

Addis Ababa
Ethiopia

Michael Toman

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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