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CMCC@Ca' Foscari in presence and online seminar | Adapting to Heat Extremes with Unequal Access to Cooling: Evidence from India - Filippo PAVANELLO
As temperatures and income increase, household will rely more on air-conditioning to maintain thermal comfort in their dwellings. However, the access to residential cooling energy is highly unequal, and air-conditioning remain a luxury good in most developing countries. As heat stress harms human well-being, identifying cooling adaptation inequalities and adequate policies is critical to protect the most vulnerable. This work thoroughly study the cooling inequality problem in India, one of the main emerging economies, where the need for space cooling technologies is prominent. First, we provide evidence on the inequality in the access and use of residential cooling energy through an in-depth analysis of the intensive and extensive margin responses of Indian households. We also show that air-conditioning and its usage nullifies the negative impact of temperature on mortality in India, generating health benefits for households that own the good and can use it. Finally, exploiting household-level information on the purchasing cost of cooling appliances, we find that subsiding more than half of the purchasing cost would highly reduce the cooling gap even in the low-income households.

Mar 15, 2023 11:30 AM in Rome

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