Averting Behavior Among Singaporeans During Indonesian Forest Fires

  • Tamara L. SheldonEmail author
  • Chandini Sankaran


We estimate averting behavior in the form of increased electricity usage in Singapore during the haze caused by Indonesian forest fires. Our results indicate that increases in fire radiative power in Indonesia result in statistically significant increases in one- and two-day ahead electricity demand. Further results show that the Indonesian fires accounted for 0.5% of Singaporean electricity demand between February 2012 and August 2017 at a total cost of over $270 million. In addition, we find that the residential electricity share increases and the industrial share decreases during fire episodes, suggesting the increase in demand may be due to Singaporeans staying home and/or increasing their air conditioning use during these times. This averting behavior is persistent, not diminishing, during periods of frequent poor air quality.


Air pollution Health Avoidance behavior Externalities Forestry 

JEL Classification

D62 I1 Q23 Q51 Q5 



We would like to thank Meredith Fowlie, Gautam Gowrisankaran, Daniel Hicks, Ashley Langer, Jamie Mullins, Stanley Reynolds, Alberto Salvo, Catherine Wolfram and sponsors and participants in the 2017 AEA Annual Conference CSWEP Session on Environment and Health for helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Boston CollegeChestnut HillUSA

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