Households, Consumption, and Energy Use: Population Age Structure and Future Carbon Emissions for the United States

Michael Dalton, California State University, Monterey Bay
Brian C. O'Neill, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Leiwen Jiang, Brown University
John Pitkin, Analysis and Forecasting, Inc.

We investigate whether expected changes in the age composition of U.S. households over the next 25-100 years could have a substantial influence on total energy demand and emissions of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas. We use the ProFamy model to develop household projections for different age groups in the U.S. population. Benchmark demand for consumer goods, and supplies of labor and capital are determined using an analysis of Consumer Expenditure Survey data. We classify different household types by age in the U.S. region of the Population-Environment-Technology (PET) model, a dynamic multi-region computable general equilibrium model of energy and economic growth. The PET model translates consumption of various goods into demand for energy, other inputs, and carbon emissions. Our results demonstrate that demographic heterogeneity can substantially affect energy use and long-term carbon emissions.

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Presented in Session 20: Population and Environment