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Determinants of household fuel choices among Nigerian family heads: are there gender-differentiated impacts?
Authors: Ikechukwu D. Nwaka, Kalu E. Uma, and George Nwokike Ike
Source: Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Published online; DOI: 10.1007/s11356-020-09554-x
Topic(s): Gender
Household headship
Household solid fuel use
Country: Africa
Published: JUL 2020
Abstract: The consensus in the literature holds that female-headed households (FHHs) are more vulnerable to social and economic exclusion than male-headed households (MHHs). This paper investigates the socioeconomic determinants of household cooking fuel choices across MHHs and FHHs, using the rich Nigerian Demographic Health Survey data. Using the exogenous switching treatment effect regression (ESTER) technique, the study is able to unravel differences in socioeconomic effects of gender inequality on cooking fuel choices in Nigeria. The results validate the energy ladder hypothesis in the Nigerian case and show that the choices of dirty fuel (biomass) is more prevalent among the de-jure FHH when compared with the de-facto FHH and MHHs. Also, the probability of biomass-use among MHHs would have fallen by 1.3% if MHHs had similar socioeconomic attributes as the FHHs. In the same vain for FHHs, the probability of kerosene-use would have increased by 2%. The study observed no gender gap in kerosene-use. Thus, the established gender gap in biomass- and kerosene-use would have reduced to 6.7% and 2.8%, respectively, if the de-facto FHHs had same socioeconomic attributes as the de-jures. Considering the traditional gendered household division of labor within the households, de-jure FHHs’ energy choices may be due to limited economic opportunities that guarantees cleaner energy options.