In rural Ethiopia women are more likely than men to collect firewood and cook over stoves that emit harmful smoke. Meanwhile, men are more likely than women to control how household income is spent. Accordingly, men are less likely than women to purchase improved cooking stoves that emit fewer pollutants while cooking.

This is the case in rural Ethiopia and also across rural communities throughout much of the developing world.

Dr. Sied Hassan, sought to dig deeper into this phenomenon.  He designed an inventive field experiment to uncover the willingness of men versus the willingness of women to pay for an improved cookstove. Dr. Sied Hassan is a research fellow at Ethiopian Policy Studies institute, a think tank in Ethiopia. He discusses his experiment and the very big policy implications of his findings. We also discuss a related experiment in which he tested various methods to increase the willingness of rural households to pay for solar lighting.

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Today’s episode is part of series of episodes that showcase the research and work of the Sustainable Energy Transitions Initiative. SETI is an interdisciplinary global collaborative that aims to foster research on energy access and energy transitions in low and middle-income countries. Currently, SETI is housed at Duke University, where it is led by Professors Subhrendu Pattanayak and Marc Jeuland. To learn more about SETI, follow them on Twitter @SETIenergy.  

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