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Ranking quality of life using subjective well-being data

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  • Moro, Mirko
  • Brereton, Finbarr
  • Ferreira, Susana
  • Clinch, J. Peter

Abstract

Indices ranking the quality of life in cities based on climatic, environmental and urban conditions have a long tradition in the hedonic literature. In this paper we propose an alternative set of indices based on subjective well-being (SWB) data linked to regional level amenities. SWB indicators provide a direct, self-reported evaluation of life satisfaction and can be used to rank quality of life among different locations in the absence of data on housing prices and wages. Using SWB data in Ireland, we show how to rank quality of life in regions in three different ways: 1) using a simple unconditional average of SWB across locations, 2) conditionally, controlling for personal characteristics of individuals and the environmental amenities in their area and 3) weighting the environmental endowments in each location by the marginal rate of substitution between income and the amenity. The results show a very high correlation between the three indices and suggest that variation in SWB across locations is not random, but is driven to a large extent by the endowment of location-specific amenities across locations.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 65 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 448-460

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:65:y:2008:i:3:p:448-460

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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Cited by:
  1. Ambrey, Christopher L. & Chan, Andrew Yiu-Chung & Fleming, Christopher M., 2013. "Estimating the cost of air pollution in South East Queensland: An application of the life satisfaction non-market valuation approach," 2013 Conference (57th), February 5-8, 2013, Sydney, Australia, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society 152133, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  2. Ferreira, Susana & Moro, Mirko, 2009. "On the Use of Subjective Well-Being Data for Environmental Valuation," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers, University of Stirling, Division of Economics 2009-24, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  3. Heinz Welsch & Susana Ferreira, 2014. "Environment, Well-Being, and Experienced Preference," Working Papers V-367-14, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised May 2014.
  4. Kopmann, Angela & Rehdanz, Katrin, 2013. "A human well-being approach for assessing the value of natural land areas," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 20-33.
  5. Elsa Tesfazghi & J. Martinez & J. Verplanke, 2010. "Variability of Quality of Life at Small Scales: Addis Ababa, Kirkos Sub-City," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 98(1), pages 73-88, August.
  6. Barrington-Leigh, Christopher P, 2008. "Weather as a transient influence on survey-reported satisfaction with life," MPRA Paper 25736, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Oswald, Andrew J. & Wu, Stephen, 2009. "Well-being across America," IZA Discussion Papers 4600, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Ambrey, Christopher L. & Fleming, Christopher M., 2011. "Valuing Ecosystem Diversity in South East Queensland: A Life Satisfaction Approach," 2011 Conference, August 25-26, 2011, Nelson, New Zealand, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society 115347, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  9. Jacopo Baggio & Elissaios Papyrakis, 2014. "Agent-Based Simulations of Subjective Well-Being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 115(2), pages 623-635, January.
  10. David Madden, 2012. "The Socioeconomic Determinants of Mental Stress in Ireland," Working Papers, School Of Economics, University College Dublin 201221, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  11. Thomas Murray & David Maddison & Katrin Rehdanz, 2011. "Do Geographical Variations in Climate Influence Life Satisfaction?," Kiel Working Papers 1694, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  12. Yoshiro Tsutsui, 2011. "Weather and Individual Happiness," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 11-01-Rev, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), revised Mar 2012.
  13. Hajdu, Tamás & Hajdu, Gábor, 2011. "A hasznosság és a relatív jövedelem kapcsolatának vizsgálata magyar adatok segítségével
    [Examining the relation of utility and relative income using Hungarian data]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(1), pages 56-73.

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