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Electricity access and charcoal consumption among urban households in Zambia

Brian P. Mulenga, Solomon T. Tembo and Robert B. Richardson

Development Southern Africa, 2019, vol. 36, issue 5, 585-599

Abstract: This study uses a nationally representative dataset of urban households in Zambia to examine household cooking fuel choice patterns and to quantify the effect of access to electricity on household charcoal consumption. We find charcoal to be the most prevalent cooking fuel, for both households with and without electricity access. Proportionately more charcoal users reside in low income residential areas. Using a two-stage econometric estimation procedure that accounts for endogeneity of access to electricity, we find that on average, households with access to electricity consume 54% less charcoal than their counterparts without access. Further, our results indicate that charcoal consumption tends to increase with income, but this increase attenuates as income increases further. Other socio-demographic variables such as age, education and household size are also important in influencing charcoal consumption. We discuss implications for interventions aimed at promoting cleaner energy sources and efficient charcoal use for cooking among urban residents.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2018.1517036

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