Does Biomass Energy Consumption Improve Human Development? Evidence from South Asian Countries

Shamal C. Karmaker, Shahadat Hosan, Bidyut B. Saha


The effect of biomass energy consumption on the economy, environment, and human development is still a debatable issue, and researchers have not yet been reached any consensus about this issue. Several studies have examined the impact of biomass energy usage concerning economic, environmental, and human wellbeing perspectives and found mixed results. As a large number of people in South Asia are relying on these biomass energy usages, it is obvious to investigate whether the use of biomass energy is contributing positively to human development or not. Thus, this paper enhances the existing literature by exploring the influence of biomass energy usage on human development in South Asian nations in 1990-2016. Panel cointegration approaches, along with a Dumitrescu-Hurlin panel causality test, have been performed to assess the long-run causality between biomass energy use and human development. Our findings suggest that biomass energy usage has an adverse effect on human development in South Asian countries and a bidirectional causal relationship between these two variables. Policymakers might suggest reducing the use of traditional biomass, such as firewood and cow dung cake, to achieve SDG-7 and improve the quality of life.


Biomass; economic growth; human development; panel cointegration; South Asian countries

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