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Abstract

Combustion-generated pollutants, principally those from solid-fuels including biomass and coal when cooking and heating, bring out a significant public health hazard in both developed and developing countries. Most of the existing studies addressing this issue focus on developing countries, and on exposure when cooking rather than heating. By using Kentucky rural data, this research explores the health risk associated with heating fuel choice. Given the simultaneity between heating fuel choice and prevalence of asthma and allergy, we obtain the instrumental variable (IV) estimate for Logit models through the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM). After correcting for simultaneity bias, we do not find strong evidence supporting the causal relationship between polluting heating use and the prevalence of asthma, allergy, and other respiratory disease. Some demographic and lifestyle factors do have significant effects on the prevalence of these diseases.

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