Sarah Johnston, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Time & Location
About the Event
We estimate the relationship between temperature and energy spending for both low and higher-income US households. We find both groups respond similarly (in percentage terms) to moderate temperatures, but low-income households' energy spending is half as responsive to extreme temperatures. Consistent with low-income households cutting back on necessities to afford their energy bills, we find similar disparities in the food spending response to extreme temperature. These results suggest adaptation to extreme weather, such as air conditioning use, is prohibitively costly for households experiencing poverty.