Regional determinants of residential energy expenditures and the principal-agent problem in Austria
Keywords:energy efficiency, principal-agent, split incentives, regional aspects
AbstractThe aim of this paper is two-fold: 1) to examine the determinants of residential energy expenditures and compare them on a regional level; and, 2) attempt to identify and measure the effect of possible principal-agent (PA) problems on residential energy efficiency in Austria. The results of this paper are partially based on findings from a master’s thesis, which focused more directly on the PA problem. This paper expands on those results to include regional aspects in energy expenditures. A conditional demand model is regressed on a large number of variables representing housing characteristics, socio-economic factors, occupancy type, and regional characteristics sourced from the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions dataset. The analysis indicates that significant regional differences exist in the determinants of residential energy expenditures and that PA problems appear to be unimportant to energy efficiency in Austria, even at the regional level. It concludes with some possible explanations as to why this is the case.
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