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A New Look at Residential Electricity Demand Using Household Expenditure Data

Author

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  • Fell, Harrison

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Li, Shanjun

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Paul, Anthony

    () (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

We estimate residential electricity demand for different regions of the country, assuming that consumers respond to average electricity prices. We circumvent the need for individual billing information by developing a novel generalized method of moments approach that allows us to estimate demand based on household electricity expenditure data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, which does not have quantity and price information. We find that price elasticity estimates vary across the four census regions—the South at –1.02 is the most price-elastic region and the Northeast at –0.82 is the least—and are essentially equivalent across income quartiles. In general, these price elasticity estimates are considerably larger in magnitude than those found in other studies using household-level data that assume that consumers respond to marginal prices. We also apply our elasticity estimates in a U.S. climate policy simulation to determine how these elasticity estimates alter consumption and price outcomes compared to the more conservative elasticity estimates commonly used in policy analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Fell, Harrison & Li, Shanjun & Paul, Anthony, 2010. "A New Look at Residential Electricity Demand Using Household Expenditure Data," Discussion Papers dp-10-57, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-57
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Herriges, Joseph A & King, Kathleen Kuester, 1994. "Residential Demand for Electricity under Inverted Block Rates: Evidence from a Controlled Experiment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(4), pages 419-430, October.
    2. Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-362, March.
    3. Herriges, Joseph A. & King, K.A., 1994. "Residential Demand for Electricity Under Block Rate Structures: Evidence from a Controlled Experiment," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1498, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    4. Alberini, Anna & Gans, Will & Velez-Lopez, Daniel, 2011. "Residential consumption of gas and electricity in the U.S.: The role of prices and income," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 870-881, September.
    5. Paul, Anthony & Myers, Erica & Palmer, Karen, 2009. "A Partial Adjustment Model of U.S. Electricity Demand by Region, Season, and Sector," Discussion Papers dp-08-50, Resources For the Future.
    6. Chong, Howard, 2012. "Building vintage and electricity use: Old homes use less electricity in hot weather," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 906-930.
    7. Espey, James A. & Espey, Molly, 2004. "Turning on the Lights: A Meta-Analysis of Residential Electricity Demand Elasticities," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(01), April.
    8. Shammin, Md Rumi & Bullard, Clark W., 2009. "Impact of cap-and-trade policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions on U.S. households," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2432-2438, June.
    9. Lester D. Taylor, 1975. "The Demand for Electricity: A Survey," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(1), pages 74-110, Spring.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alberini, Anna & Gans, Will & Velez-Lopez, Daniel, 2011. "Residential consumption of gas and electricity in the U.S.: The role of prices and income," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 870-881, September.
    2. Desiderio Romero-Jordán & Pablo Del Río & Cristina Peñasco, 2015. "An analysis of the welfare and distributive implications of factors influencing household electricity consumption," Working Papers 1503, Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos (IPP), CSIC.
    3. Cho, Seong-Hoon & Kim, Taeyoung & Kim, Hyun Jae & Park, Kihyun & Roberts, Roland K., 2015. "Regionally-varying and regionally-uniform electricity pricing policies compared across four usage categories," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 182-191.
    4. Fell, Harrison & Linn, Joshua, 2013. "Renewable electricity policies, heterogeneity, and cost effectiveness," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 688-707.
    5. Nina Boogen & Souvik Datta & Massimo Filippini, 2014. "Going beyond tradition: Estimating residential electricity demand using an appliance index and energy services," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 14/200, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    6. Wichsinee Wibulpolprasert, 2016. "Optimal Environmental Policies And Renewable Energy Investment: Evidence From The Texas Electricity Market," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(04), pages 1-41, November.
    7. Wichsinee Wibulpolprasert, 2016. "Optimal Environmental Policies and Renewable Energy Investment in Electricity Markets," PIER Discussion Papers 47, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Nov 2016.
    8. Romero-Jordán, Desiderio & del Río, Pablo & Peñasco, Cristina, 2016. "An analysis of the welfare and distributive implications of factors influencing household electricity consumption," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 361-370.
    9. Alberini, Anna & Filippini, Massimo, 2011. "Response of residential electricity demand to price: The effect of measurement error," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 889-895, September.
    10. repec:eee:juipol:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:58-68 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jessoe, Katrina & Rapson, David & Smith, Jeremy B., 2014. "Towards understanding the role of price in residential electricity choices: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 191-208.
    12. Sánchez, Luis & Reyes, Orlando, 2016. "La demanda de gasolinas, gas licuado de petróleo y electricidad en el Ecuador: elementos para una reforma fiscal ambiental," Documentos de Proyectos 706, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    residential electricity demand; consumer expenditure survey; generalized method of moments;

    JEL classification:

    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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