Adoption and Short-term Impacts of Improved Cookstoves in Rural India

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Samaddar, Sushmita

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Half of the world’s population (2.7 billion people), of which 95 percent is in ‘poor’ countries, rely on solid fuels including biomass fuels like wood, dung, agricultural residue and coal, to meet most of their energy needs. Cooking and heating with simple biomass fuels lead to more early deaths (4.3 million) in the world than AIDS, TB, and malaria combined, with women and children being disproportionately affected. Improved cookstoves (ICS) technologies are seen as one of the ways to enable transitions to cleaner cooking behaviour. This study reports on the results of an intervention conducted in Rajasthan, India, in which 600 households were randomly assigned to participate in a program promoting and distributing improved cookstoves and 300 more households were matched on village level characteristics and the historical presence of the implementing NGO in the village. We find that 46% of households in the treatment group adopted the improved cookstove. The results for short term impacts of adopting an improved cookstove are mixed on time savings while cooking and preparing fuel. Interestingly however, we find that households that adopted the ICS spend more fuel while cooking and reported a higher cost of treating illnesses than households in the non-treatment groups. Despite the mixed results on the short term impact of adopting an ICS, we find that households with an ICS had a higher perception of the impact of an ICS on the welfare of their household members. 90% of the households that adopted the ICS repoted to be satisfied with their purchase.





Samaddar, Sushmita (2017). Adoption and Short-term Impacts of Improved Cookstoves in Rural India. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

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