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Is there a "heat or eat" trade-off in the UK?

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  • Timothy K.M. Beatty
  • Laura Blow

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Thomas Crossley

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Cambridge)

Abstract

In this research, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, we merge detailed household level expenditure data from older households with historical local weather information. We then test for a heat or eat trade off: do households cut back on food spending to finance the additional cost of keeping warm during cold shocks? We find evidence that the poorest of older households are unable to smooth spending over the worst temperature shocks. Statistically significant reductions in food spending are observed in response to temperatures two or more standard deviations colder than expected (which occur about one winter month in forty) and reductions in food expenditure are considerably larger in poorer households.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W11/09.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:11/09

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  1. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2004. "Shocks, stocks and socks: smoothing consumption over a temporary income loss," CAM Working Papers 2004-05, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  2. Dora Gicheva & Justine Hastings & Sofia Villas-Boas, 2010. "Investigating Income Effects in Scanner Data: Do Gasoline Prices Affect Grocery Purchases?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 480-84, May.
  3. Paxson, Christina H, 1992. "Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 15-33, March.
  4. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2003. "Measuring the Well-Being of the Poor Using Income and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 9760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Martin Browning & Thomas Crossley, 2003. "Shocks, Stocks and Socks," Department of Economics Working Papers 2003-07, McMaster University.
  6. Jayanta Bhattacharya & Thomas DeLeire & Steven Haider & Janet Currie, 2002. "Heat or Eat? Cold Weather Shocks and Nutrition in Poor American Families," NBER Working Papers 9004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Tuttle, Charlotte, 2012. "The Effect of Energy Price Shocks on Household Food Security," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124791, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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