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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Improved stove adoption in the Northern Peruvian Andes Agurto Adrianzén, Marcos Miguel


This dissertation examines outcomes from a development intervention which introduced improved cooking stoves into the rural communities of the Chalaco District, in the Northern Peruvian Andes. The first chapter introduces the dissertation; it presents the intervention’s context and discusses the social capital concept and how it was measured. The second chapter confirms the informational role of village social capital. It explores how bonding social capital and village-level technology usage patterns mutually influence information diffusion during the initial adoption stages of a new cooking device. The results indicate that the effect of village usage patterns on the household’s usage decision is significantly higher in villages with higher levels of bonding social capital, and that the marginal impact of bonding links on the usage decision may be negative if village success in stove usage at initial adoption stages is relatively low. Social capital indicators were collected before the intervention; therefore, reverse causality should not be critical for identification purposes. Village unobservables are not likely to drive the main results; the effect of village usage patterns on the decision to dismantle the improved stove is also increasing in bonding social capital. The third chapter estimates the effect of the improved stove on firewood consumption during the winter season. To identify the impact of stove usage, it exploits random differences in stoves’ material quality. Given this, an indicator of iron frame failure is used as an instrument to predict stove adoption to determine the causal effect of this device. The instrumental variable results indicate that improved stove usage significantly reduces firewood consumption by approximately 40%. The fourth chapter analyses the impact of the new device on health indicators typically affected by indoor air pollution (IAP). To identify the causal impact of improved stove usage, I follow the same identification strategy discussed in chapter three. The results indicate that improved stove usage, with an operative chimney, reduces self-reported respiratory illness and eye discomfort symptoms. These results are only for housewives, who are more likely to be exposed to IAP. No significant health effects were found for housewives using the improved stove without an operative chimney.

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