CoPS/IMPACT Working Paper Number G-190

Title: The costs of keeping cool for Australians with Multiple Sclerosis

Authors: George Verikios, Michael Summers, Rex Simmons and Zanfina Ademi


Heat intolerance is a significant medical problem affecting people with Multiple Sclerosis. For people with MS, the costs of running their air conditioners are an additional disease-related expense that must be met on top of other out-of-pocket disease-related expenses. Using the results of the 2008 Keeping Cool Survey, we estimate the relative economic disadvantage faced by MS households in trying to keeping cool. We find that MS households spend around ten times more on keeping cool than the average Australian household. Sensitivity analysis indicates that our results are robust with respect to all key parameters, across regions and nationally. Our results suggest that energy rebates for heat intolerant persons currently in place in Victoria and Western Australia should be implemented in other Australian states and territories.

JEL classification: I18.

Please cite the later published version in:
The Australian Economic Review, vol. 46, no. 1, 2012, pp. 45-58.

Keywords: cooling costs, economic disadvantage, energy rebates, heat intolerance, multiple sclerosis

Working Paper Number G-190 can be downloaded in PDF format.

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