Last month, the National Bureau of Economic Research published a working paper called, “Inexpensive Heating Reduces Winter Mortality.” Here’s the key finding:
We find that lower heating prices reduce mortality in winter months. The estimated effect size implies that the drop in natural gas prices in the late 2000s, induced largely by the boom in shale gas production, averted 11,000 winter deaths per year in the US. We also find that the effect does not just represent short-run hastening of mortality. We show that the effect, which is driven mostly by cardiovascular and respiratory causes, is robust to several checks on the specification.