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Energy Poverty and Life Satisfaction: Structural Mechanisms and Their Implications

Elena Druica, Zizi Goschin () and Rodica Ianole-Călin ()
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Rodica Ianole-Călin: Department of Economics and Administration, University of Bucharest, Queen Elisabeth Avenue 4-12, Bucharest 030018, Romania

Energies, 2019, vol. 12, issue 20, 1-20

Abstract: This paper investigates the distinct mechanisms through which energy poverty is linked to life satisfaction, via health status and one’s satisfaction with one’s own socioeconomic status, using data from the Life in Transition survey. Our sample contains 19,598 individuals from 11 former communist states located in Central and Eastern Europe, and two developed countries for comparison. We estimated a partial least squared–path model and found that both health status and socioeconomic status are relevant mediators. Our results also indicate that gender moderates the relation between health status and life satisfaction. Energy poverty has a low contribution to health status but a larger contribution to satisfaction with socioeconomic status, thus indicating that interventions on energy poverty may not greatly improve the level of health, but can have an influence on how people feel about their life. The contribution of our paper is twofold. On the one side, we continue to consolidate the existing link between energy poverty and self-reported health status with a new focus on the Central and Eastern European countries; on another side, we propose a theoretical framework expansion by including totally novel factors to be analyzed in this context: satisfaction with socioeconomic status, economic environment improvement, and intolerance.

Keywords: energy poverty; life satisfaction; PLS–PM; health status; socioeconomic status (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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