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Liquid petroleum gas access and consumption expenditure: measuring energy poverty through wellbeing and gender equality in India

Bahi, Dhilanveer Teja Singh and Paavola, Jouni (2023) Liquid petroleum gas access and consumption expenditure: measuring energy poverty through wellbeing and gender equality in India. Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy Working Paper (424). Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Despite the acceleration of electrification in India, many communities still suffer from the direct and indirect effects of energy poverty. We investigate whether access to liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and consumption expenditure can be used as measures of energy poverty in India, with a particular focus on gender equality. A district-level, quantitative analysis of household survey data was performed for the energy-poor states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. Wellbeing and gender equality indices were constructed from contextually relevant indicators, whilst LPG access was considered in terms of physical access, affordability, and awareness. Levels of consumption expenditure were considered based on the updated urban poverty line for India. We found that LPG access and consumption expenditure do not have significant relationship with wellbeing or gender equality. The result indicates that the traditional economic approach of using consumption expenditure cannot capture the multidimensionality of energy poverty. This has significant implications as it challenges the status quo of energy poverty measurement in India. The research also adds value to existing arguments that electricity access cannot be used as a sole indicator of energy poverty, by extending the argument to access to a modern cooking fuel. LPG access was however strongly associated with the education of women on the health effects of ‘chulha’ smoke. Consumption expenditure is also strongly associated with female property ownership which calls for future research on this novel relationship. Overall, this study calls for shifting energy poverty discussions to emerging concepts such as wellbeing and gender equality.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q4 - Energy > Q40 - General
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2023 13:15
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:31

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