Strategies for reducing ethnic inequality in energy outcomes: A Nepalese example

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Energy Economics


This paper assesses ethnic differences for four energy outcomes using a survey of 6000 households in Nepal. These four outcomes are avoiding open wick lamps, having a solar lighting system, living in a neighbourhood with street lighting, and having a connection to the national grid. We find large differences across ethnic groups, with the Madhesi group having distinct energy outcomes, for each of the four dimensions. However, progressively more detailed locational variables explain much of the difference. Our interactive analysis then suggests that some of the remaining variation is explained by socioeconomic variables of having a financial account, school attendance, or membership of a women's group. Promoting these potentially favourable socioeconomic outcomes could be useful strategies for also indirectly reducing ethnic inequality in energy outcomes and future energy policymaking. However, ethnic inequality for the most place-based outcome, being living in an area with street lighting, is not reduced by the key socioeconomic variables. The results are also robust after isolating ethnic differences from locational influences.

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