The impact of energy poverty on physical violence

JournalEnergy Economics
AuthorsAbebe Hailemariam, Tutsirai Sakutukwa, Siew Ling Yew
PublishedAugust 2021

Despite the fact that energy poverty and violence are emerging as a priority in many countries’ policy agendas, little is known regarding the interplay between energy poverty and violence. This paper is the first to investigate the impact of energy poverty on physical violence. Using longitudinal data from the HILDA survey and employing a variety of methods, including an instrumental variable approach, we find strong evidence that energy poverty increases the likelihood of experiencing physical violence. We find that psychological distress, substance use and social capital are important mechanisms through which the effect of energy poverty is transmitted to physical violence. Our results are robust to alternative specifications and various measures of energy poverty.