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Cost Liability and Residential Space Heating Expenditures of Welfare Recipients in Germany


  • Katrin Rehdanz

    () (Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg)

  • Sven Stoewhase


Within the German welfare system, heating expenditures of recipients are in general fully covered by the government. This paper empirically tests for the hypothesis that households receiving welfare payments turn to over consumption of residential space heating. We use microdata from two different data sources to explore whether conditional heating expenditures of these households significantly differ from those of other households. Our empirical findings suggest that even when controlling for a range of other factors this is indeed the case as heating expenditures lie about 10 percent above those of other households. These results are fairly robust to sensitivity analyses. Our results imply that there is potential scope for cost savings if this policy is changed.

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  • Katrin Rehdanz & Sven Stoewhase, 2007. "Cost Liability and Residential Space Heating Expenditures of Welfare Recipients in Germany," Working Papers FNU-139, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Jun 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:sgc:wpaper:139

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    Cited by:

    1. Michelsen, Carl Christian & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "Homeowners' Preferences for Adopting Residential Heating Systems: A Discrete Choice Analysis for Germany," FCN Working Papers 9/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    2. Michelsen, Carl Christian & Madlener, Reinhard, 2012. "Homeowners' preferences for adopting innovative residential heating systems: A discrete choice analysis for Germany," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1271-1283.

    More about this item


    Social welfare; Germany; Space heating; Economic incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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