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Evaluating the Slow Adoption of Energy Efficient Investments: Are Renters Less Likely to Have Energy Efficient Appliances?

In: The Design and Implementation of U.S. Climate Policy

  • Lucas W. Davis

While public discussion of HR 2454 (the "Waxman Markey" bill) has focused on the cap-andtrade program that would be established for carbon emissions, the bill also includes provisions that would tighten energy efficiency standards for consumer appliances. Supporters argue that appliance standards help address a number of market failures. In particular, many studies have pointed out that landlords may buy cheap inefficient appliances when their tenants pay the utility bill. Although this landlord-tenant problem has been widely discussed in the literature, there is little empirical evidence on the magnitude of the distortion. This paper compares appliance ownership patterns between homeowners and renters using household-level data from the Residential Energy Consumption Survey. The results show that, controlling for household income and other household characteristics, renters are significantly less likely to have energy efficient refrigerators, clothes washers and dishwashers.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Don Fullerton & Catherine Wolfram, 2012. "The Design and Implementation of U.S. Climate Policy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number full10-1, September.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12130.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12130
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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

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    1. Lucas W. Davis, 2008. "Durable goods and residential demand for energy and water: evidence from a field trial," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 530-546.
    2. Arik Levinson, 2001. "Energy Use By Apartment Tenants When Landlords Pay For Utilities," Working Papers gueconwpa~01-01-09, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    3. Hausman, Jerry A & Joskow, Paul L, 1982. "Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Appliance Efficiency Standards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 220-25, May.
    4. Kenneth Gillingham & Richard G. Newell & Karen Palmer, 2009. "Energy Efficiency Economics and Policy," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 597-620, 09.
    5. Jaffe, Adam B. & Stavins, Robert N., 1994. "The energy paradox and the diffusion of conservation technology," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 91-122, May.
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