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

18 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2010 Last revised: 4 Dec 2013

See all articles by Lucas W. Davis

Lucas W. Davis

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 2010

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Davis, Lucas W., Evaluating the Slow Adoption of Energy Efficient Investments: Are Renters Less Likely to Have Energy Efficient Appliances? (June 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w16114, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1626603

Lucas W. Davis (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

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Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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