Erica Myers

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliations: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and E2e

NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2019Heterogeneous (Mis-) Perceptions of Energy Costs: Implications for Measurement and Policy Design
with Sébastien Houde: w25722
Quantifying heterogeneity in consumers’ misperceptions of product costs is crucial for policy design. We illustrate this point in the energy context and the design of Pigouvian policies. We estimate non-parametric distributions of perceptions of energy costs in the U.S. appliance market using a revealed preference approach. We show that the average degree of misperception is misleading— while the largest share of consumers correctly perceives energy costs, a significant share undervalues them, and smaller shares either significantly overvalues or completely ignores them. We show that setting a tax based on mean misperception deviates substantially from the optimal tax that accounts for heterogeneous misperceptions. While correctly characterizing misperception is crucial for setting optimal...
February 2019Are Consumers Attentive to Local Energy Costs? Evidence from the Appliance Market
with Sébastien Houde: w25591
We estimate whether consumers respond to local energy costs when purchasing appliances. Using a dataset from an appliance retailer, we compare demand responsiveness to a measure of energy costs that varies with local energy prices versus purchase prices. We strongly reject that consumers are unresponsive to local energy costs under a wide range of assumptions. These findings run counter to the popular wisdom, which motivates energy standards, that energy costs are a shrouded attribute. Capital investments are an important channel for electricity demand response and may explain some of the large differences between short and long run electricity price elasticities.
January 2018The Distributional Effects of Building Energy Codes
with Christopher D. Bruegge, Tatyana Deryugina: w24211
State-level building energy codes have been around for over 40 years, but recent empirical research has cast doubt on their effectiveness. A potential virtue of standards-based policies is that they may be less regressive than explicit taxes on energy consumption. However, this conjecture has not been tested empirically in the case of building energy codes. Using spatial variation in California’s code strictness created by building climate zones, combined with information on over 350,000 homes located within 3 kilometers of climate zone borders, we evaluate the effect of building energy codes on home characteristics, energy use, and home value. We also study building energy codes’ distributional burdens. Our key findings are that stricter codes create a non-trivial reduction in homes’ squa...

Published: Chris Bruegge & Tatyana Deryugina & Erica Myers, 2019. "The Distributional Effects of Building Energy Codes," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol 6(S1), pages S95-S127.

September 2016The Distributional Effects of Building Energy Codes
with Chris Bruegge, Tatyana Deryugina
in Energy Policy Tradeoffs between Economic Efficiency and Distributional Equity, Tatyana Deryugina, Don Fullerton, and Billy Pizer, organizers
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