Explaining the spread of residential air conditioning, 1955-1980
In 1955 fewer than 2% of the nation's residences had air conditioning; by 1980 over half were air conditioned, and over a quarter had central air. This paper attempts to explain the growth and the geographic differences in the prevalence of residential air conditioning from the mid fifties to 1980. Census data and data on climate and relevant prices are combined to estimate a model that focuses on the role of economic factors, that is, geographic differences and changes over time in incomes and prices, in affecting the pattern of diffusion of residential air conditioning.
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