Date of Award:

12-2017

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Economics and Finance

Advisor/Chair:

William F. Shughart

Abstract

Energy poverty is a topic often neglected in the discussion about global climate change. Apocalyptic prophecies about the negative future effects of climate change ignore the suffering of people around the globe whose lives could be drastically improved with access to reliable sources of energy. Though energy poverty from a global perspective is much more serious than energy poverty from a domestic perspective, high home energy bills are a serious cause for concern for many Americans.

This research examines the relationship between regulation, the prices of electricity and natural gas, and the household energy burden, which is the ratio of household energy expenditures to household income. Where the household energy burden exceeds six percent of household income, households are at the brink of living with a high household energy burden. High household energy burdens can become a generational poverty trap, so understanding what contributes to a high household energy burden may help decision makers determine how to proceed when shaping energy-related and poverty-related policy.

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Finance Commons

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