Traditional energy technologies and consumer products contribute to household well-being in diverse ways but also often harm household air quality. We review the problem of household air pollution at a global scale, focusing particularly on the harmful effects of traditional cooking and heating. Drawing on the theory of household production, we illustrate the ambiguous relationship between household well-being and adoption of behaviors and technologies that reduce air pollution. We then review how the theory relates to the seemingly contradictory findings emerging from the literature on developing country household demand for clean fuels and stoves. In conclusion, we describe an economics research agenda to close the knowledge gaps so that policies and programs can be designed and evaluated to solve the global household air pollution problem.
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