A large proportion of Indian households use wood, straw, cow dung cakes and other biomass for cooking. Although economic growth has increased the likelihood that households shift to stoves using kerosene or natural gas, this shift is uneven and poorly understood. What determines why some households use clean fuels while others continue to rely on biomass-based stoves? Using data from India Human Development Survey (IHDS), a survey of over 40,000 households, this presentation will examine the role of three types of social inequalities in shaping this choice. Three sources of inequality are of particular interest: (1) Region inequalities that determine access to clean fuels and ease of collecting firewood; (2) Income based inequalities that constrain the ability of households to purchase kerosene or gas; and, (3) Gender based inequalities that shape the way in which households value women’s time and health.
Sonalde Desai is a Professor of Sociology at University of Maryland with joint appointment as a Senior Fellow at the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi. Sonal received Ph.D. from Stanford University and post-doctoral training at University of Chicago and The RAND Corporation.
She is a demographer whose work deals primarily with human development in developing countries with a particular focus on gender and class inequalities. She studies employment, education and maternal and child health outcomes by locating them within the policy discourse and political economy of the region. While much of her research focuses on India, she has also undertaken comparative studies across South Asia, Latin America and Sub Saharan Africa.
She has published articles in a wide range of sociological and demographic journals. Presently she is leading a large nationally representative panel survey, India Human Development Survey (IHDS) a nationwide panel survey of over 40,000 households.
This event is part of the seminar series "Climate Change and Social Inequality" organized by University of Maryland College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Climate and People Initiative. Welcome to join us. For further information contact hubacek [at] umd.edu.
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