Energy-related attitude/belief variables in conventional econometric equations: an empirical approach applied to residential energy consumption

by Bruce M. Wetzel

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This paper analyzes a subsample of 523 households from the 1975 Lifestyles and Household Energy Use Survey conducted for the Washington Center for Metropolitan Studies. The study explores the empirical relationship among a set of four energy-related attitude/belief (ERAB) variables, household electricity and natural gas consumption, and three energy-related discrete choice (ERDC) variables. Using principal components factor analysis, the ERAB variables were constructed from a portion of the survey responses dealing with what respondents thought should be done to handle current or future energy shortages. A finding of the study is that in the context of a conventional econometric specification of electricity and natural gas consumption, ERAB variables are statistically significant although less significant than conventional explanatory variables for household energy consumption.

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