Fueling the Engines of Liberation With Liquefied Petroleum Gas: Evidence From Indonesia.

Tushar Bharati, University of Western Australia
Yiwei Qian , University of Southern California
Jeonghwan Yun, University of Southern California

In order to reduce the subsidy burden of kerosene, the Indonesian government launched the “Conversion to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Program” in 2007. Cooking with LPG not only reduces indoor pollution due to cooking but also saves cooking time. Using the staggered roll out of the program, we find that the program increased the probability of women attending school, their time in school, their labor-force and community meetings participation. This also had benefits for the rest of the family through increased and improved mix and quality of consumption reflected in better their health. Women, now, also had more say in household expenditures and other financial decisions. In light of the findings that intra-household externalities are one of the main reasons behind low adoption of cleaner cooking technology, increased decision making power with women has important implications for the sustained use of this technology, even in the absence of the subsidy.

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 Presented in Session 8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, & Inequality