Energy EfficiencyEE Gap Slides [link]
Allcott and Sweeney Slides [link]
Weatherization Wars [link]
- Basic economics of adoption of energy saving capital.
- Review evidence and policy motivated by an apparent energy efficiency gap.
- Discuss “rational” and behavioral explanations.
- Using field experiments to test different explanations/ policy interventions.
Required reading and response questions
- What is the energy efficiency gap?
- What are some “rational” explanations?
Read the following two experimental papers:
- Allcott (JPubEcon 2011)
- Allcott & Sweeney (MS 2017) For each paper, read the intro, then skim the rest to understand the experimental setup and key results.
For each paper, write one paragraph explaining:
- What is the research question in each paper?
- How does the experiment allow the authors to answer the question?
Recently, there was a very public debate of the benefits of weatherization. Some prominent economists conducted a study which called into question the wisdom of a popular energy efficiency program.
- Read this summary of their critique here, and a blog post from one of the authors here
- You can read a rebuttal in the New York Times here (optional)
- You can read the published article on the study here (Fowlie, Greenstone and Wolfram QJE 2018)
- Do you find the economist’s criticism of this program fair?
- What did you take away from this back and forth?