Abstract

We investigate whether households trade off spending on food and spending on heating. We use a large sample of households from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland over the period 1974-2007. We find evidence that low-income households reduce food expenditure during periods of colder than average weather. In contrast, wealthier households increase spending on food during colder than average weather. Further we investigate the efficacy of the Winter Fuel Payment, a social program designed to mitigate the effects of energy costs.

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