Fuel Poverty as a Major Determinant of Perceived Health: The Case of France




The numbers of households in fuel poverty is increasing. Indeed, more and more people are struggling to heat their homes and therefore more and more people are exposed to low temperatures which can affect their health. In this paper, we use the French database of the Healthcare and Insurance survey to study the link between a subjective measure of fuel poverty (coldness) and self-reported health. We also analyze the impact of other individual and environmental special features on self-reported health. The estimation of a dichotomous Probit model allows us to infer a negative impact of fuel poverty on self-reported health. Thus, a person in fuel poverty is 2.36 percentage points more likely to report poor or fair health status than a person who is not in fuel poverty. Accordingly, it may be appropriate to implement support for the most vulnerable categories of the health impacts of fuel poverty and cold homes, eg for chronic patients who have difficulty heating their homes.


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