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Housing, energy cost, and the poor: Counteracting effects in Germany's housing allowance program

  • Grösche, Peter

Adequate housing and affordable warmth are essential human needs, the lack of which may seriously harm people's health. Germany provides an allowance to low-income households, covering the housing as well as the space heating cost, to protect people from the consequences of poor housing conditions and fuel poverty. In order to limit public expenditures, payment recipients are required to choose low-cost dwellings, with the consequence that they probably occupy flats with a poor thermal performance. Recipients might therefore exhibit a lower per-square meter rent but in turn are likely to have a higher energy consumption and energy expenditures. Using a large data set of German households, this paper demonstrates that this financially counteracting effect is of negligible magnitude.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V2W-4X8V596-3/2/df4f0ae832681c51f1ffb6630e2d3bbe
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 93-98

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:1:p:93-98
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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  1. Bradshaw, Jonathan & Hutton, Sandra, 1983. "Social policy options and fuel poverty," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 3(3-4), pages 249-266, September.
  2. Weicher, John C. & Thibodeau, Thomas G., 1988. "Filtering and housing markets: An empirical analysis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 21-40, January.
  3. Peter Grösche, 2009. "Measuring residential energy efficiency improvements with DEA," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 87-94, April.
  4. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
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