Collective Model of Firewood Consumption, Production, and Labour Supply: Evidence from Malawi
Talk by Raavi Aggarwal (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Berlin) as part of the Research Seminar Series of the IOS Economics Department.
We develop a collective household model to analyse the non-separable link between firewood consumption, fuel collection, and individuals’ labour supply in Malawi. Modelling firewood as a home-produced good, we analyse the role of female bargaining power within the household, in determining optimal firewood consumption. We posit labour supply as a potential channel for firewood collection and consumption. Drawing on household and individual-level panel data for 2010-2020, we find a positive effect of fossil fuel prices on firewood consumption, with significant increases in individuals’ labour supply for informal work. Greater parity in decision-making between men and women is associated with a reduced likelihood of firewood use, in a context of rising energy prices. The results highlight the labour market effects of energy price increases, and the importance of intra-household dynamics in determining biomass consumption, thus broadening the debate on sustainable development policies in sub-Saharan Africa.
The talk is open to external participants online via Zoom.