Clean Energy Access : Gender Disparity, Health, and Labor Supply

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Women are known to bear the largest share of health, time and labor supply burden associated with a lack of modern energy. In this paper, we study the impact of clean energy access on adult health and labor supply outcomes by exploiting a nationwide rollout of clean cooking fuel program in Indonesia. This program led to a large-scale fuel switching, from kerosene, a dirty fuel, to liquid petroleum gas, a significantly cleaner and efficient cooking fuel than kerosene. Using rich longitudinal survey data from the Indonesia Family Life Survey and the staggered structure of the program roll-out, we find that access to clean cooking fuel led to a significant improvement in women's health, particularly among those who spend most of their time indoors doing housework. We also find an increase in the labor supplied by these women on both intensive and extensive margins. This suggests that having clean and efficient cooking fuel may not only improve women's health but also improve their productivity, subsequently allowing them to supply more market labor. For men, we find an increase in the labor supplied only along the intensive margin, with a higher increase among men in households where women accrued the largest health and labor benefits from the program. These results highlight the role of clean energy in reducing gender-disparity in health and labor participation and point to the existence of positive externality from improved health and productivity of women on other members of the household.
Gender Inequality, Energy Access, Health, Labor Supply, Indonesia
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