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

  • 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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16114.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16114.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Publication status: published as Lucas W. Davis, 2010. "Evaluating the Slow Adoption of Energy Efficient Investments: Are Renters Less Likely to Have Energy Efficient Appliances?," NBER Chapters, in: The Design and Implementation of U.S. Climate Policy National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16114
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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. 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.
  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. Arik Levinson, 2001. "Energy Use By Apartment Tenants When Landlords Pay For Utilities," Working Papers gueconwpa~01-01-09, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
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