Home Heating and Asthma in New Zealand
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
New Zealand has one of the highest asthma prevalence rates among developed countries and previous research attributes this partly to poor socioeconomic conditions and to insufficient home heating in particular. Retrospective empirical studies from overseas suggest that home heating is associated with asthma rates. However, the evidence to date is not conclusive. In this thesis, I present a theoretical framework and empirically investigate the link between home heating and asthma hospital admissions in New Zealand using panel data techniques and controlling for endogeneity. The hypothesis that higher electricity prices (via less adequate heating) increase asthma admissions is tested and receives strong empirical support across a number of model specifications and datasets used.