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Doctoral thesis, 2023

Essays on the impact on households of natural resource scarcity and climate change

Kiros, Bahre


This thesis comprises four empirical papers aimed at comprehending the interdependencies among climate change, scarcity of natural resources such as water and forests, human health, and households’ responses.

Paper I investigates the impact of precipitation variability on households’ sanitation technology choices in Ethiopia. The findings indicate that increased precipitation variability causes households to abandon improved sanitation facilities in favor of unimproved sanitation systems. Paper II examines how local forest resource conditions affect households’ fuel choice in Uganda. The use of biobased fuels has detrimental effects on both human health and forests. The results show that, when compared to households in non-vegetated areas, those in more vegetated areas are less likely to depend on dirty biobased fuels like firewood and charcoal. A larger forest stock is associated with a greater likelihood of using a combination of clean and dirty fuels. Paper III analyzes the impacts of water scarcity, as measured by time spent collecting water, on diarrhea prevalence and the purchase of health insurance in Ethiopia. Results show that water scarcity has a significant and positive impact on both. Finally, paper IV scrutinizes the effects of seasonal temperature on seasonal farm labor market outcomes in Ethiopia. The main findings show that rising temperatures reduce the number of hired farm labor days and wage payments during planting, harvesting, and whole agricultural season.


Climate change; diarrhea; Ethiopia; farm labor market; forests; fuel choice; health insurance; natural resource scarcity; sanitation facilities; Uganda

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2023, number: 2023:55
ISBN: 978-91-8046-162-7, eISBN: 978-91-8046-163-4
Publisher: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science
    Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

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