Discussion Papers

No.646 Short-term Impacts of Solar Lanterns on Child Health: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh


March 2017


We implemented a 16-month randomized field experiment in unelectrified areas of Bangladesh to identify health impacts of solar lanterns among school-aged children. Our analysis of various health-related indicators—self-reporting, spirometers, and professional medical checkups—showed modest improvements in eye redness and irritation but no noticeable improvement in respiratory symptoms among treated students. Varying the number of solar products received within treatment households did not alter these results. This limited health benefit was not caused by nonutilization of the products by treated children, spillover effects from treated to control students, or treatment heterogeneity resulting from unfavorable family cooking environments.

Keywords: Clean energy, indoor air pollution, randomized control trials, solar light
JEL classification: I15, O13, Q42

Please note that discussion papers are works in various stages of progress and most have not been edited and proofread and may contain errors of fact or judgment. Revised versions of these papers may subsequently appear in more formal publication series. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s). The IDE does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included and accepts no responsibility for any consequences arising from its use.