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Can natural gas save lives? Evidence from the deployment of a fuel delivery system in a developing country
journal contributionposted on 2018-05-01, 00:00 authored by R Cesur, E Tekin, Aydogan UlkerAydogan Ulker
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. We examine the impact of this development on mortality among adults and the elderly by exploiting the variation in the timing of the deployment and the intensity of expansion of gas networks across provinces using data from 2001 to 2016. The results indicate that the expansion of natural gas has caused significant reductions in mortality among both adults and the elderly. These findings are supported by our auxiliary analysis, which demonstrates that the expansion of natural gas networks might have led to a significant improvement in air quality. Furthermore, we show that the mortality gains are primarily driven by reductions in cardio-respiratory deaths, which are more likely to be due to conditions caused or exacerbated by air pollution.