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The effects of fuelwood on children’s schooling in rural Vietnam

O’Brien, James, Phoebe Do and Micaela Edelson

Journal of Asian Economics, 2021, vol. 72, issue C

Abstract: Gathering fuelwood for cooking and heating represents a considerable time burden for households in rural Vietnam. In this paper we examine the effects of fuelwood use on children’s school attendance using a panel of households from the Vietnam Living Standards Survey. We match individual households to satellite imagery measuring leaf coverage at the time and location of each survey, providing a robust instrument to examine the impacts of resource collection on schooling. We find that using fuelwood as the primary energy source is associated with an 84 percentage point decrease in the likelihood of school enrollment. We also find mixed evidence that girls may be affected more severely than boys, but we are unable to rule out equal impacts across genders. Our results suggest that household energy choices and diminishing resource availability can have a lasting impact on childhood schooling and long-run poverty.

Keywords: Vietnam; Fuelwood; Resource collection; Schooling (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 I15 J16 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.asieco.2020.101266

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