Place-Based Energy Inequality for Ethnicities in Nepal

Author name: 
Nepal R
Best R
Taylor M

This paper assesses ethnic differences for four energy outcomes using a survey of 6,000 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. However, ethnic inequality for the most place-based outcome, of living in an area with street lighting, is not reduced by education or women’s group membership. Our results therefore suggest that ethnic inequality in place-based energy outcomes may not be addressed by policies promoting education and community group participation. Policies to increase the proportions of households with access to financial accounts may have broader effectiveness in reducing ethnic energy inequality across many energy dimensions.

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