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A multidimensional measure of energy poverty in China and its impacts on health: An empirical study based on the China family panel studies

Zhang, Dayong, Li, Jiajia, Han, Phoumin
Energy policy 2019 v.131 pp. 72-81
affordability, developing countries, econometric models, education, empirical research, energy, energy poverty, household surveys, issues and policy, people, socioeconomic factors, China
Inability or insufficient access to modern forms of energy is an important issue in development, which makes the notion of energy poverty a widely discussed topic. A consensus has been reached that energy poverty has serious health, education, and other socio-economic impacts for people in a country. However, measurements of energy poverty have generally been absent or inaccurate, especially for developing countries at the micro level. This paper begins with the multidimensional nature of energy poverty and uses household-level survey data in China to construct a quantitative measure of energy poverty, covering both affordability of and accessibility to a broad range of forms of energy. It then builds an econometric model to address empirically how much energy poverty affects health. A statistically significant and robust negative impact on health from energy poverty is confirmed. Our results have important policy relevance in terms of understanding the current status quo of energy poverty in China and its consequences. The concept can also be expanded to investigate similar issues in other developing countries.