Poverty and Firewood Consumption: A Case Study of Rural Households in Northern China

GATE Working Paper No. 1020

34 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2010

See all articles by Sylvie Démurger

Sylvie Démurger

University of Lyon 2 - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE)

Martin Fournier

University of Lyon 2 - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE)

Date Written: September 2010

Abstract

This paper discusses the determinants of firewood consumption in a poor township in rural northern China, with a special focus on the relationship between households’ economic wealth and firewood consumption. We find strong support for the poverty-environment hypothesis since household economic wealth is a significant and negative determinant of firewood consumption. Firewood can therefore be considered as an inferior good for the whole population in the rural area under study, although further evidence shows that at the top of the wealth distribution, there might be a floor effect in the decreasing firewood consumption. Besides economic wealth, our analysis also shows that the own-price effect is important in explaining firewood consumption behavior, the price effect gaining importance with rising incomes. Finally, increasing education is also found to be a key factor in energy consumption behavior, especially when dealing with energy source switching behavior.

Keywords: firewood consumption, poverty, natural resources protection, China

JEL Classification: Q23, Q28, I31, O12, C3

Suggested Citation

Démurger, Sylvie and Fournier, Martin, Poverty and Firewood Consumption: A Case Study of Rural Households in Northern China (September 2010). GATE Working Paper No. 1020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1687527 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1687527

Sylvie Démurger (Contact Author)

University of Lyon 2 - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE) ( email )

93, chemin des Mouilles
Ecully, 69130
France
(33 4) 72 86 61 05 (Phone)
(33 4) 72 86 60 90 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.gate.cnrs.fr/spip.php?article22

Martin Fournier

University of Lyon 2 - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE) ( email )

93, chemin des Mouilles
Ecully, 69130
France

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