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Impacts of cooking fuel choices on subjective well-being: Insights from Rural China

Ma, Wanglin
Vatsa, Puneet
Zheng, H
Conference Contribution - unpublished
Fields of Research
This paper examines the impacts of cooking fuel choices on individuals’ subjective well-being, measured by happiness and life satisfaction, using open-access data from the 2016 China Labor-force Dynamics Survey. We analyze the impacts by employing a multivalued treatment effects model that accounts for selectivity bias. Unlike previous studies that consider households’ binary fuel use decisions or specific fuel choices, we capture the households’ fuelstacking behaviors (using multiple fuels) by classifying cooking fuels into clean fuels, nonclean fuels, and mixed-fuels. The empirical results show that complete energy transition (i.e., switching from either non-clean fuels or mixed fuels to clean fuels) significantly improves individuals’ happiness and life satisfaction. In comparison, incomplete energy transition (i.e., shifting from non-clean fuels to mixed fuels) does not significantly impact individuals’ subjective well-being. The additional analysis reveals that switching from non-clean fuels to clean fuels significantly reduces happiness inequality and life satisfaction inequality. We suggest that the government in China and other countries make concerted efforts to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy and accelerate the complete household energy transition process.
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© 2021 by Wanglin Ma, Puneet Vatsa, and Hongyun Zheng. All rights reserved. Readers may make verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial purposes by any means, provided that this copyright notice appears on all such copies.
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