Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Applied Economics

Advisor

Hanssen, Frederick A

Committee Member

Tsui , Kevin K

Abstract

The first essay investigates the relatively higher energy efficiency (EE) investment rates in housing units of homeowners versus those of renters. In the empirical analysis, discrete choice models are employed to explore households' EE investment behavior. After testing three groups of implications derived from the initial analysis, the paper suggests that due to the existence of contracting costs, landlords/renters make efficient decisions to invest less in EE than homeowners due to renters' increased mobility and the characteristics of typical EE investments. The second essay analyzes households' choices of energy efficient dishwashers and the potential influence from those choices on dish washing behavior. An ordered Probit model is developed to investigate households' demand for dish washing services. Two-stage residual inclusion (2SRI) is used to deal with the endogeneity problem, caused by households choosing energy efficient dishwashers because of higher expected usage frequency. Households using energy efficient dish washers compared with households using standing dishwashers display approximately 7.7% more frequent usage behavior. The final essay examines U.S. residential consumption of four main fuels. Double-log demand models are applied and two-stage residual inclusion is used to address price endogeneity. Besides various elasticity estimates, the paper further explores causes of the rising per capital electricity consumption over time despite the efficiency progress. Historical survey data reveal that households increase electricity consumption by increasing the quantity of electronics and/or purchasing electronics with extra energy-consuming attributes.

Included in

Economics Commons

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