NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Inexpensive Heating Reduces Winter Mortality

Janjala Chirakijja, Seema Jayachandran, Pinchuan Ong

NBER Working Paper No. 25681
Issued in March 2019
NBER Program(s):The Program on Aging, The Environment and Energy Program, The Health Care Program, The Health Economics Program

This paper examines how the price of home heating affects mortality in the US. Exposure to cold is one reason that mortality peaks in winter, and a higher heating price increases exposure to cold by reducing heating use. It also raises energy bills, which could affect health by decreasing other health-promoting spending. Our empirical approach combines spatial variation in the energy source used for home heating and temporal variation in the national prices of natural gas versus electricity. We find that a lower heating price reduces winter mortality, driven mostly by cardiovascular and respiratory causes.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25681

 
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