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Unbelievable but improved cookstoves are not helpful in reducing firewood demand in Nepal

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 October 2010

South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) and the Central Department of Economics, Tribhuvan University, P.O. Box 8975, EPC-1056, Kathmandu, Nepal. Tel: +977-1-500-3222. Email:
Department of Economics, University of New Mexico, MSC05 3060, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA. Email:
Department of Economics, University of New Mexico, MSC05 3060, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA. Email:


This paper analyzes the effect of different types of cookstoves on firewood demand at the household level. Using nationally representative household survey data from Nepal, we find that stove type significantly affects the firewood demand for household uses. Traditional mud-stove user households seem to use less firewood than the open-fire stove users. Surprisingly, households with the so-called ‘improved’ stoves seem to use more firewood than the households with mud stoves. Thus, converting traditional open-fire stoves to mud stoves may be a better conservation strategy in the short term rather than installing improved stoves, unless the technology improves. However, in the long run, making cleaner fuel more accessible to rural households is desirable to reduce indoor air pollution.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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