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Inequality of opportunity in energy consumption in China

Shi, Xinjie
Energy policy 2019 v.124 pp. 371-382
energy, energy policy, females, China
This paper proposes an empirical implementation of the concept of inequality of opportunity in energy consumption expenditure and applies this to data from Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS). We examine the role played by circumstances beyond the control of individuals—for instance, gender, hukou status, family background and region of birth—in generating inequality in energy consumption expenditure in China. This study shows that the relative share of inequality of opportunity (IOR) in energy consumption expenditure in China is 10.02% for the entire sample. IOR turns out to be larger for the older cohort, peaking at 14.40% for the 1955–64 cohort. A Shapley-value decomposition presents that hukou status and region of birth are the two largest contributors to inequality of opportunity across birth cohorts. A heterogeneity analysis further shows that more disadvantaged groups—for instance, female individuals born in the West of rural China with worse family backgrounds—are facing more unequal opportunities in energy consumption in China. These results suggest that energy policies focused on zero discrimination in opportunities should be encouraged.