The Roles of Household Energy Usage and Ambient Air Pollution in Nairobi

Two bodies of research—largely independently of one another—have studied indoor and of outdoor air pollution. The transition toward cleaner cooking technologies has been subject to tremendous policy debate, but the evidence is still primarily correlational, and existing research is overwhelmingly rural. Cities experience extremely high levels of ambient air pollution arising primarily from energy generation, transportation, increased population density, and often a lack of environmental regulation.

The reduction in cooking-related pollution causes only a small, statistically undetectable reduction in total pollution exposure. The limited contribution of indoor air pollution to aggregate air pollution when compared with outdoor air pollution departs from previous research on this topic and has important policy implications.

This study, an analysis of a randomized field study in Nairobi, Kenya, estimates the causal impact of improved stove adoption on air pollution exposure and develop relevant a policy proposal. 

Susanna Berkouwer

Assistant Professor of Business Economics & Public Policy
Susanna Berkouwer is an assistant professor of Business Economics & Public Policy at the Wharton School.