The Gendered Nature of Liquefied Petroleum Adoption and Use in Rural India

Journal of Development Studies, 2019

59 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2019

Date Written: August 30, 2019


Clean cooking fuels promise substantial health benefits for rural households, but almost three billion people continue to rely on traditional biomass for their cooking needs. We explore the role of gender in the adoption of LPG, a clean cooking fuel, in rural India. Given that women are responsible for most households’ cooking needs, we propose that gender inequality is an obstacle to LPG adoption because men may fail to appreciate the full benefits of clean cooking fuels. Using data for 8,563 households from the ACCESS survey, we demonstrate that households where women participate in decision-making are more likely to adopt LPG for cooking than households in which a man is the sole decision-maker. We extend our analytic framework to evaluate the relationship between household characteristics and LPG and firewood use. Access and cylinder costs were both negatively associated with LPG use and while LPG adoption reduced firewood use, fuel stacking remains the norm in study households. This study has implications for future policy designs to increase LPG adoption and use to obtain the multiple benefits of cleaner cooking.

Keywords: India, energy poverty, clean cooking, gender

Suggested Citation

Gould, Carlos and Urpelainen, Johannes, The Gendered Nature of Liquefied Petroleum Adoption and Use in Rural India (August 30, 2019). Journal of Development Studies, 2019. Available at SSRN:

Carlos Gould

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Johannes Urpelainen (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins SAIS ( email )

1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036-1984
United States

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