The Effect of Environmental Disamentities on Electricity Consumption: Evidence From Dengue Outbreaks in Singapore
38 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2016 Last revised: 17 Apr 2018
Date Written: April 3, 2018
We investigate whether a major and growing environmental disamenity – dengue fever – leads to protective behavior that increases residential electricity consumption. We construct a unique panel dataset with nationwide coverage of electricity consumption and dengue risk intensity at the building level, and use geographic and temporal variation in proximity to dengue clusters to identify the effect of dengue outbreaks on electricity consumption. We find that being near a dengue cluster leads to a persistent increase in electricity consumption which varies by socio-economic status. In addition, electricity consumption rises discontinuously when a dengue cluster’s risk classification is upgraded from yellow to red. The cost of this increased electricity consumption, which is currently not accounted for, can amount to 7%–12% of the overall national costs of dengue.
Keywords: electricity consumption, dengue, protective behaviour
JEL Classification: D12, I12, Q40, Q51
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