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Research to manage the Environment for Development

Recent publications


    Evaluating Rural Electrification: Illustrating Research Gaps with the Case of Bhutan

    Electrification, especially rural electrification (RE), is a core component of the Sustainable Development Goals and a major focal point of the global development community. Despite this focus, more than one billion people worldwide do not have access to electricity, and electrification growth rates are not keeping pace with population growth. In this paper, we posit that lack of progress is partly driven by a misalignment between academic research and energy planners’ and policy makers’ needs.


      Construyendo acuerdos ambientales desde las asimetrías:¿Qué condiciones favorecen la formación de acuerdos?

      El manejo de recursos naturales y los servicios ecosistémicos frecuentemente involucran agentes que son afectados asimétricamente por las decisiones que se toman. Por ejemplo, los usuarios de un sistema de riego que están en la parte alta pueden tener acceso a más agua que los usuarios que están en la parte baja, porque la ubicación les da una ventaja. Lo mismo puede pasar con recursos pesqueros que cruzan fronteras entre países, de manera que un país puede tener una ventaja en la pesca.


      Sustainable energy topics: an overview from Central America

      The Economics and Environment for Development Program (EEfD) carry out a review of policy relevant documents and countries initiatives on environment and development topics in Central America. The policy review addresses the issue of sustainable energy from two different perspectives. One approach considers energy in its broad spectrum and as a national sector of relevance, while the other one focuses on the relevance of implementing sustainable energies under a climate change context (EEfD 2016)1.


      The impact of safety nets on technology adoption: a difference-in-differences analysis

      This article contributes to a growing body of empirical literature relating credit constraints and incomplete insurance to investment decisions. We use panel data from rural Ethiopia to investigate whether participation in a safety net program enhances fertilizer adoption. Using a difference-in-differences estimator and inverse propensity score weighting, we find that participation in Ethiopia's food-for-work (FFW) program increased fertilizer adoption in the short run, but not in the long run.


        Impacts of rural electrification revisited – the African context

        The investment requirements to achieve the United Nations’ universal electricity access goal by 2030 are estimated at 640 billion USD. The assumption underlying this goal is that electrification contributes to poverty alleviation in many regards. In recent years, a body of literature has emerged that widely confirms this positive poverty impact assumption. Most of these studies, however, are based on data from Asia and Latin America. This paper challenges the transferability of impact findings in the literature to the African context.


          How do People in Rural India Perceive Improved Stoves and Clean Fuel? Evidence from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand

          Improved cook stoves (ICS) have been widely touted for their potential to deliver the triple benefits of improved household health and time savings, reduced deforestation and local environmental degradation, and reduced emissions of black carbon, a significant short-term contributor to global climate change. Yet diffusion of ICS technologies among potential users in many low-income settings, including India, remains slow, despite decades of promotion.


            Explaining environmental health behaviors: Evidence from rural India on the influence of discount rates

            The authors examine whether high personal discount rates help explain why and which households in developing countries under-invest in seemingly low-cost options to avert environmental health threats, including bednets, clean cooking fuels, individual household latrines, water treatment and handwashing. First, the authors elicit personal discount rates by combining a simple randomized experiment with detailed surveys of over 10,000 rural households in Maharashtra, India.


              Outdoor Cooking Prevalence in Developing Countries and its Implication for Clean Cooking Policies.

              More than 3 billion people use wood fuels for their daily cooking needs, with detrimental health implications related to smoke emissions. Best practice global initiatives emphasize the dissemination of clean cooking stoves, but these are often expensive and suffer from interrupted supply chains that do not reach rural areas. This emphasis neglects that many households in the developing world cook outdoors. Our calculations suggest that for such households, the use of less expensive biomass cooking stoves can substantially reduce smoke exposure.


                Can economic incentives enhance adoption and use of a household energy technology? Evidence from a pilot study in Cambodia

                While much work has examined approaches to increase uptake of a variety of household environmental, health and energy technologies, researchers and policymakers alike have struggled to ensure long-term use. Drawing on a pilot-scale experiment conducted in rural Cambodia, this study evaluates whether economic incentives enhance continued use of—and fuel savings from—improved cookstoves (ICS).