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  • 2015-2019  (28)
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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-03-21
    Description: To be aware of the potential for energy savings in their homes, individuals need specific energy-related and financial knowledge. In addition, they also need the cognitive skills to apply this knowledge, for example when it comes to the calculation of the lifetime cost of household appliances or energy-efficient renovations. This set of knowledge and skills is related to two literacy concepts, i.e. energy and financial literacy. In this paper, we propose a new concept of literacy that we call "energy-related financial literacy". Further, we present information on the level of financial literacy as well as on the level of energy-related financial literacy for a sample of European households. In the empirical part of the paper we estimate several ordered probit models in order to analyse the determinants of the level of energy-related financial literacy, with a particular interest to understanding the role of gender. Our results show that the level of energy-related financial literacy is relatively low and heterogeneous across the European countries. Moreover, the results confirm previous findings about the gender gap in financial literacy, with males being associated with higher levels of the index. We also identify such a gender gap for energy-related financial literacy.
    Keywords: Q52 ; Q54 ; O10 ; ddc:330 ; Energy literacy ; financial literacy ; energy-related financial literacy ; consumer awareness ; energy knowledge
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-03-21
    Description: From both health and environmental policy perspectives, it is advisable to ensure that individuals maximise the nutritional gains from eating meat, without having a significantly adverse environmental impact, i.e. sustainable meat consumption pathways are imperative. This is especially true for developing countries, where rising incomes and growing populations have meant that meat consumption has also risen. India is an example of a country where a large share of the population has been vegetarian due to religious and cultural factors, although this is rapidly changing. In this paper, we hypothesise that social interactions and globalisation are two factors that explain this shift in consumption behaviour, especially amongst Hindu households. These hypotheses are based on the theoretical findings of Levy and Razin (2012). The empirical results show that Hindus that are members of religious groups are less likely to eat meat than non-member Hindus, whereas Hindus that are members of non-religious types of groups are more likely to eat meat than non-members. We also find that Hindu households that frequently use sources of media such as newspapers, the radio or television are more likely to consume meat compared to Hindus that do not. This paper provides important policy implications, both in terms of the formulation of Nationally Recommended Diets in developing countries, and in terms of identifying the channel of influence of both social networks and globalisation on social and religious norms, consumption behaviour, and ultimately, on climate change.
    Keywords: D83 ; Q18 ; Q54 ; C23 ; C26 ; ddc:330 ; Meat consumption ; Religious norms ; Social interactions ; Globalisation ; India
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-04-18
    Description: By means of a single-bounded, referendum format contingent valuation, this paper estimates willingness to pay (WTP) for improved air quality among residents of Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA). Findings from this paper illustrate heterogeneity in WTP associated with environmental and social attitudes, and family concerns. For instance, WTP is higher than average if respondents state a very high priority to air pollution but smaller than average if respondent's household contains more adults than the sample median. This contingent valuation exercise provides elements to carry out cost-benefit analysis of environmental policies both recently implemented and currently under discussion in the MCMA context. For instance, a cost-benefit analysis using estimates from this paper suggests benefits from improved air quality surpass the costs of investing in hybrid buses. Usefulness of this study is underscored by pointing out recent evidence suggesting that (1) air pollution in MCMA has larger health impacts than in similar cities located in developed countries, and (2) policies tackling air pollution in MCMA have had no impact on pollution levels.
    Keywords: Q51 ; Q53 ; D61 ; ddc:330 ; Air quality ; Willingness to pay ; Mexico City ; Contingent valuation ; Attitudes
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 4
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    Zurich: ETH Zurich, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: Energy efficiency policy is seen as a very important activity by almost all policy makers. In practical energy policy analysis, the typical indicator used as a proxy for energy efficiency is energy intensity. However, this simple indicator is not necessarily an accurate measure given changes in energy intensity are a function of changes in several factors as well as ‘true’ energy efficiency; hence, it is difficult to make conclusions for energy policy based upon simple energy intensity measures. Related to this, some published academic papers over the last few years have attempted to use empirical methods to measure the efficient use of energy based on the economic theory of production. However, these studies do not generally provide a systematic discussion of the theoretical basis nor the possible parametric empirical approaches that are available for estimating the level of energy efficiency. The objective of this paper, therefore, is to sketch out and explain from an economic perspective the theoretical framework as well as the empirical methods for measuring the level of energy efficiency. Additionally, in the second part of the paper, some of the empirical studies that have attempted to measure the energy efficiency using such an economics approach are summarised and discussed.
    Keywords: D ; D2 ; Q ; Q4 ; Q5 ; ddc:330 ; economic foundations of energy efficiency ; energy demand ; stochastic frontier analysis
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 5
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    Zurich: ETH Zurich, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: Dynamic partial adjustment models of residential electricity demand account for the fact that households may not adjust electricity consumption immediately in response to changes in prices, income, and other relevant factors, because of behavioral habits or adjustment costs for the capital stock of appliances. However, forward-looking behavior is generally neglected. Expectations about future prices or consumption may have an impact on current decisions. In this paper we propose rational habit models for residential electricity demand and apply them to a panel of 48 US states between 1995 and 2011. We estimate lead consumption models using fixed effects, instrumental variables, and the GMM Blundell-Bond estimator. We find that expectations about future consumption significantly influence current consumption decisions, which suggests that households behave rationally when making electricity consumption decisions. This novel approach may improve our understanding of the dynamics of residential electricity demand and the evaluation of the effects of energy policies.
    Keywords: D12 ; D84 ; D99 ; Q41 ; Q47 ; Q50 ; ddc:330 ; Residential electricity ; Partial adjustment models ; Dynamic panel data models ; Rational habits ; Elektrizität ; Nachfrage ; Rationalität ; Energiekonsum ; Dynamische Wirtschaftstheorie ; Panel ; USA
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 6
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    Zurich: ETH Zurich, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: Does culture affect consumer preferences for fuel efficient vehicles? Switzerland's citizens share all major institutions but belong to multiple population groups which differ by culture or language across distinct geographical locations. This unique setting allows separation of the effect of culture on institutions and on individual consumer preferences. We set up a spatial fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD) at the internal French/German language border to estimate the effect of culture on preferences for energy efficient design and control for local policies. A within-country analysis on the municipality level provides a natural experiment because institutions relevant to economic development are shared by the whole population, whereas culture is heterogeneous. Our results indicate that in French speaking regions of Switzerland the share of energy efficient vehicles is 5.5 percentage points higher than in German speaking regions. In addition, we find that popular votes on environmental issues receive a significantly higher share of approval in the French speaking regions, indicating that they place a higher value on the environment.
    Keywords: Q2 ; Q4 ; R4 ; Z10 ; ddc:330 ; Culture ; Transportation ; Energy Efficiency ; Spatial RDD ; Car Choice
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 7
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    Zurich: ETH Zurich, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: Ambient air pollution is the environmental factor with the greatest impact on human health. Several epidemiological studies provide evidence for an association between ambient air pollution and human health. However, the recent economic literature has challenged the identification strategy used in these studies. This paper contributes to the ongoing discussion by investigating the association between ambient air pollution and morbidity using hospital admission data from Switzerland. Our identification strategy rests on the construction of geographically explicit pollution measures derived from a dispersion model that replicates atmospheric conditions and accounts for several emission sources. The reduced form estimates account for location and time fixed effects and show that ambient air pollution is strongly correlated with hospital admissions. In particular, we find that SO2 and NO2 are positively associated with admission rates for coronary artery and cerebrovascular diseases. As a robustness check, we adopt instrumental variable methods to account for the possible endogeneity of pollution measures. These results may contribute to a more accurate evaluation of future environmental policies aiming at a reduction of ambient air pollution exposure.
    Keywords: I10 ; Q51 ; Q53 ; ddc:330 ; Ambient air pollution ; dispersion model ; hospital admissions ; count panel data
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 8
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    Zurich: ETH Zurich, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: In order to mitigate climate change, several countries around the world have introduced or are planning a CO2 tax on energy consumption. The effectiveness of such a tax depends on the level of the short- and long-run price elasticity. Moreover, acceptance of a CO2 tax by a society depends on both the distributional effects of such a tax among households and its spatial effects among regions. In this paper, the regional impact of a hypothetical CO2 tax on gasoline consumption in Switzerland is analysed by estimating a demand function for gasoline using panel data from 547 Swiss municipalities from 2001 to 2008. Gasoline sales were collected from the five largest gasoline companies operating in Switzerland, covering about 60% of overall sales. Swiss municipalities are relatively small units, and car ownership and use in one municipality is thought to influence gasoline sales in the neighbouring ones. Accordingly, the method used in the model also accounts for spatial correlation in the consumption of gasoline. Overall, our spatial econometric analysis shows that the tax burden of a CO2 tax will be higher in rural areas than in urban areas.
    Keywords: D ; D2 ; Q ; Q4 ; R2 ; ddc:330 ; gasoline demand ; aggregate panel data ; spatial economic effect ; spatial econometrics
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: In this paper, we measure the energy efficiency in residential energy consumption using a panel dataset comprised of 40,246 observations from US households observed over 1997-2009. We fit a stochastic frontier model of the minimum input of energy needed to meet the level of energy services demanded by the household. This benchmarking exercise produces a transient and a persistent efficiency index for each household and each time period. We estimate that the US residential sector could save approximately 10% of its total energy consumption if it reduced persistent inefficiencies and 17% if it was able to eliminate transient inefficiencies. These figures are in line with the assessment by McKinsey (2008, 2009, 2013) and greater than those indicated by the Electric Power Research Institute (2009). They suggest that savings in energy use and associated emissions of greenhouse gases (and other pollutants) may benefit from both policy measures that attain short-run behavioral changes (e.g., nudges, social norms, display of real-time information about usage, and real-time pricing) as well measures aimed at the long run, such as energy-efficiency regulations, incentives on the purchase of high-efficiency equipment and incentives towards a change of habits in the use of the equipment.
    Keywords: D ; D2 ; Q ; Q4 ; Q5 ; ddc:330 ; US residential energy demand ; efficiency and frontier analysis ; Household data ; CO2 emissions reductions
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: This paper estimates the level of transient and persistent efficiency in the use of electricity in Swiss households using the generalized true random effects model (GTREM). A panel dataset of 1, 994 Swiss households from 2010 to 2014 collected via a household survey is used to estimate an electricity demand frontier function. We further investigate whether energy and investment literacy have an influence on the household electricity consumption. The results show significant inefficiencies in the use of electricity among Swiss households, both transient (11%) and persistent (22%). We note that the high persistent inefficiency is indicative of structural problems faced by households and systematic behavioral shortcomings in residential electricity consumption. These results indicate a considerable potential for electricity savings and thus reaching the reduction targets defined by the Swiss federal council as part of the Energy Strategy 2050, wherein end-use efficiency improvement is one of the main pillars. The results support a positive role of energy and, in particular, investment literacy in reducing household electricity consumption. Policies targeting an improvement of these attributes could help to improve efficiency in the use of energy within households.
    Keywords: D12 ; D13 ; D80 ; Q41 ; Q48 ; ddc:330 ; Stochastic frontier analysis ; Transient and persistent efficiency ; Energy literacy ; Investment literacy ; Energy saving behaviour ; Residential electricity demand ; Household data
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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