NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Can Natural Gas Save Lives? Evidence from the Deployment of a Fuel Delivery System in a Developing Country

Resul Cesur, Erdal Tekin, Aydogan Ulker

NBER Working Paper No. 22522
Issued in August 2016
NBER Program(s):   DEV   EEE   HE

There has been a widespread displacement of coal by natural gas as space heating and cooking technology in Turkey in the last two decades, triggered by the deployment of natural gas networks. In this paper, we examine the impact of this development on mortality among adults and the elderly. Our research design exploits the variation in the timing of the deployment and the intensity of expansion of natural gas networks at the provincial level using data from 2001 to 2014. The results indicate that the expansion of natural gas services has caused significant reductions in both the adult and the elderly mortality rates. According to our point estimates, a one-percentage point increase in the rate of subscriptions to natural gas services would lower the overall mortality rate by 1.4 percent, the adult mortality rate by 1.9 percent, and the elderly mortality rate by 1.2 percent. These findings are supported by our auxiliary analysis, which demonstrates that the expansion of natural gas networks has indeed led to a significant improvement in air quality. Furthermore, we show that the mortality gains for both the adult and the elderly populations are primarily driven by reductions in cardio-respiratory deaths, which are more likely to be due to conditions caused or exacerbated by air pollution. Finally, our analysis does not reveal any important gender differences in the estimated relationship between the deployment of natural gas networks and mortality.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22522

 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us