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Does France have a fuel poverty trap?

Chaton, Corinne, Lacroix, Elie
Energy policy 2018 v.113 pp. 258-268
econometric models, energy poverty, income, France
In this article, we focus on fuel poverty dynamics by answering two questions: Does France have a fuel poverty trap and what are the determinants of staying in or moving out of fuel poverty? First, we define three states into which individuals may be placed, which are as follows: the non-fuel-poverty state, the fuel poverty state and the severe fuel poverty state. Second, we use a mover-stayer model that divides the population into the following two types of individuals: those who remain in the same state during the observation period (the stayers) and those who move across states (the movers). This model applies to longitudinal data from mainland France showing that fuel poverty is not an absorbing state. Indeed, a majority of the fuel-poor and the severely fuel-poor move to another, better state. Therefore, we can argue that France has no fuel poverty trap. Using two econometric models (logit and multinomial logit), we identify the stability and mobility determinants in different states. As expected, there is a relationship between income and the likelihood of an individual remaining in a particular state. Furthermore, poor housing implies a greater likelihood of stability in fuel poverty or severe fuel poverty. Another result is that deterioration in fuel poverty status seems to stem more from difficult financial situations than from bad dwelling conditions.