Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 657–676

Environmental and health impacts from the introduction of improved wood stoves: evidence from a field experiment in Guatemala


DOI: 10.1007/s10668-011-9282-z

Cite this article as:
Ludwinski, D., Moriarty, K. & Wydick, B. Environ Dev Sustain (2011) 13: 657. doi:10.1007/s10668-011-9282-z


Improved wood-burning stoves offer a possible solution that can simultaneously impact both problems of deforestation and problems of respiratory health in developing countries. We carried out a field experiment in which new fuel-efficient woodstoves were allocated in a Guatemalan village via the use of a lottery. A 2008 baseline survey was carried out on 2,148 individuals in 351 households, and then a follow-up survey was carried out in 2009, 4 months after households received the stoves. We found that households with the new stoves reduced wood consumption by an average of 59.1%. We also found indications of reductions in indoor air related health problems, where point estimates indicate a significant reduction in reported respiratory symptoms by 48.6% among women and 63.3% among children.


Biomass fuelIndoor air pollutionDeforestationWood stovesField experiments

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MarketBridge Inc.San FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Rainin InstrumentsOaklandUSA
  3. 3.University of San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA