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Energy Affordability and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence for European Countries

Heinz Welsch and Philipp Biermann

The Energy Journal, 2017, vol. Volume 38, issue Number 3

Abstract: This paper uses data on the life satisfaction of more than 100,000 individuals in 21 European countries from 2002 to 2011, to study the relationship between subjective well-being and the affordability for households of electricity, heating oil and natural gas. We find that energy prices have statistically and economically significant effects on subjective well-being. The effect sizes are smaller than but comparable to the effects of important personal factors of well-being. Effects above average are found in individuals from the lowest income quartile. In addition, effects are strongest at times when required energy expenditures can be expected to be high. The empirical results are consistent with the prediction that greater fuel poverty implies a greater effect of energy prices on well-being.

JEL-codes: F0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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