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Does centralized residence promote the use of cleaner cooking fuels? Evidence from rural China

Zhong Liu, Menghan Wang, Qinqin Xiong and Chang Liu

Energy Economics, 2020, vol. 91, issue C

Abstract: The Chinese government has implemented the rural centralized residence (RCR) policy to promote rural development in 24 provinces since 2005. This study aims to estimate the effects of RCR on households' choice of clean cooking fuels by applying the instrumental variable approach on a dataset with 3685 observations in Sichuan Province. The empirical analysis showed that RCR has a significant positive effect on the choice of clean cooking fuels. We also found that RCR makes farmer households shift from using non-clean energy to clean energy for cooking by increasing both their total income and the cost of collecting and storing traditional fuels. Peer effects also motivate households to use clean cooking fuels. Further analysis indicates that an increase in the expenditure on clean energy due to RCR does not increase the farmer households' living burden, since the increase in the total income caused by RCR is much greater. Considering the accessibility and affordability of clean energy, the RCR policy could improve the standards of living among rural residents and synergistically promote energy transition in rural China.

Keywords: Rural centralized residence; Cooking fuels; Energy transition; Affordability; Instrumental variable approach (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2020.104895

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