Choking on Structural Adjustment: Dependency and Exposure to Indoor Air Pollution in Developing Countries

Kelly F. Austin, Kellyn McCarthy


Indoor air pollution represents a global health crisis, leading to 4.3 million deaths annually. Despite widespread variation in solid fuel burning across developing nations, little is known about the large scale socio-economic causes. We draw on theories of political-economy to consider the role of economic, social, and environmental predictors on solid fuel use, with a special focus on structural adjustment, debt service, and agricultural production. Utilizing a sample of 75 developing nations, we find that these economic dependencies increase solid fuel use. Thus, current neoliberal development strategies enhance vulnerabilities to indoor air pollution for millions of people in impoverished nations.

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