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Energy Price Reform and Household Welfare: The Case of Turkey

A price reform in Turkey increased the residential electricity tariff by more than 50 percent in 2008. The reform, aimed at encouraging energy efficiency and private investment, sparked considerable policy debate about its potential impact on household welfare. This paper estimates a short-run residential electricity demand function to evaluate the distributional impact of the tariff increase. The analysis allows heterogeneity in households' price sensitivity and the model is estimated using a nationally representative sample of 8,572 Turkish households. The results suggest that rich households in Turkey are three times as responsive in adjusting consumption to price changes as poor households are. In addition, the welfare loss of the poorest income quintile - measured by the change in consumer surplus as a percentage of income - is 2.9 times that of the wealthiest.

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Energy Specializations: Energy Efficiency; Energy Modeling – Energy Data, Modeling, and Policy Analysis; Energy and the Economy; Energy Access – Energy Poverty and Equity

JEL Codes:
Q55 - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
Q43 - Energy and the Macroeconomy
Q56 - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

Keywords: Energy price reform, Distributional impact, Turkey

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.36.2.4

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Published in Volume 36, Number 2 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.