American Economic Review: Vol. 104 No. 5 (May 2014)

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Powering Up China: Income Distributions and Residential Electricity Consumption

Article Citation

Auffhammer, Maximilian, and Catherine D. Wolfram. 2014. "Powering Up China: Income Distributions and Residential Electricity Consumption." American Economic Review, 104(5): 575-80.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.5.575

Abstract

Current forecasts suggest that the vast majority of growth in energy demand will come from the developing world, and that China will play a major part in that growth. This paper presents evidence suggesting that the shape of the income distribution, which is typically omitted from forecasting models, plays a major role in driving household acquisition of energy-using durable goods in rural China. We use province-level data for rural households to show that the share of the population living above the poverty line is an important determinant of household appliance holdings even controlling for average household income.

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Authors

Auffhammer, Maximilian (U CA, Berkeley)
Wolfram, Catherine D. (U CA, Berkeley)

JEL Classifications

D31: Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
L94: Electric Utilities
O13: Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
P28: Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies: Natural Resources; Energy; Environment
Q41: Energy: Demand and Supply; Prices
Q47: Energy Forecasting
Q48: Energy: Government Policy


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