‘Winter mortality is lower when the price of heating is lower’: new research report.
Last month, the National Bureau of Economic Research released a dramatic working paper. Its conclusion: when US home heating costs fell, fewer people died.
In the authors’ words, we’ve known for decades that “mortality peaks in winter and that cold weather is associated with higher mortality.” When home heating gets expensive, many people – especially the poorest members of our community – turn down the thermostat. But lower indoor temperatures are associated with an uptick in fatal strokes, heart attacks, and infections.
After collecting reams of data, and performing careful calculations, the researchers conclude that US heating bills declined noticeably between 2005 and 2010 “due to the boom in shale production of natural gas.”