Cooking that kills: Cleaner energy access, indoor air pollution, and health Articles uri icon


  • ., IMELDA

publication date

  • November 2020

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 18


  • 147

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0304-3878

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1872-6089


  • Dirty cooking fuels are a significant source of indoor air pollution in developing countries, resulting in millionsof premature deaths. This paper investigates the health impacts of household access to cleaner fuel using anationwide fuel-switching program, the largest household energy transition project ever attempted in the devel-oping world, affecting more than 50 million homes in Indonesia. This program focused on replacing a dirtycooking fuel (kerosene) with a cleaner one (liquid petroleum gas). The difference-in-differences estimates andwithin-mother estimates suggest that the program led to a significant decline in infant mortality with the effectsconcentrated on the perinatal period. The program also reduced the prevalence of low birth weight, suggestingthat fetal exposure to indoor air pollutants is an important channel. These findings elucidate how a policy thatcombines a subsidy on the use of cleaner-burning fuel with a restriction on the dirty fuel can pay public health dividends.


  • cooking fuel; energy access; indonesia; indoor air pollution; infant mortality; lpg