Asymmetric information in residential rental markets: Implications for the energy efficiency gap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper explores whether energy cost information asymmetries exist between landlords and tenants by exploiting variation in which party pays for energy. Because tenants are always fully informed about their total housing costs in the landlord-pay regime, the effect of energy cost changes on tenant turnover, rents, and efficiency investment should differ between the two payment regimes under asymmetric information but not symmetric information. Using energy cost variation in the form of changes in relative heating fuel prices, I find evidence that tenants are uninformed about energy costs. This results in higher energy expenditures for tenants and implies that information campaigns or efficiency standards may improve market outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104251
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Volume190
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Asymmetric information
  • Efficiency gap
  • Landlord-tenant problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics

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