Home Heating and Asthma in New Zealand
New Zealand has one of the highest asthma prevalence rates among developed countries and previous research attributes this partly to poor socioeconomic conditions in certain neighborhoods and to insufficient home heating in particular. International retrospective empirical studies suggest that home heating is associated with asthma rates. However, strong evidence of causality is lacking. In this paper, we empirically investigate the link between home heating and hospital asthma admissions in New Zealand using panel data techniques and controlling for endogeneity. The hypothesis that higher electricity prices (via less adequate heating) increase hospital asthma admissions is tested and receives strong empirical support across a number of model specifications and datasets used.