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Fuelwood Consumption: A Cross-Country Comparison

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This study specifies and estimates an economic model of fuelwood consumption at the international level, emphasizing fuelwood consumption in the developing countries. Demand shifters in the model are real income and an index of commercial energy prices. The supply shifter is forest area. Technological rigidities are assumed to constrain the fuelwood user's rate of adjustment to changes in these shifters. Regression estimation is based on pooled cross-section and time series annual data for 86 countries during the period 1963-76. Estimated coefficients indicate that fuelwood consumption adjusts very slowly, and by only small amounts, to changes in the shifters. Through 1976 the effect of the price of commercial energy on fuelwood consumption is almost imperceptible. Receding forest area has a larger braking effect on fuelwood consumption in the middle-income than in the low-income developing countries. Increased income leads to increased fuelwood consumption in the low-income developing countries, but the income relationship is not significantly different from zero in the middle-income developing countries. However, these findings must be interpreted cautiously in light of deficiencies in the international data. Forest Sci. 30:383-392.

Keywords: Firewood; charcoal; economic development; energy demand; energy supply; traditional fuels

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843

Publication date: June 1, 1984

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