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Distributional determinants of household air pollution in China

By MAYA PAPINEAU, KRISTIN AUNAN and TERJE BERNTSEN

Abstract

Solid fuel burning in households is a leading health risk for people in developing countries. Several studies of indoor air pollution from solid fuels have analyzed the problem at the village and household level, but to design effective policies it is important to understand the large-scale socioeconomic drivers of household air pollution (HAP). Using county-level data covering all of China, we examine relationships between socioeconomic variables and ambient concentrations of PM and SO 2 resulting from household energy use. Applying both non-parametric and parametric techniques, we find that income and education are robust determinants of HAP; structural characteristics affect the HAP turning points; and the poorest counties bear a disproportionate amount of total pollution, especially urban counties and counties located in the coastal provinces.

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