Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Implications of happiness research for environmental economics

Contents:

Author Info

  • Welsch, Heinz

Abstract

Using happiness data to study economic issues is a burgeoning field in recent economic literature. This paper shows that happiness research has considerable potential for environmental economic analysis. The paper discusses some implications of happiness research for environmental policy analysis, specifically with respect to the level of socially optimal environmental quality. It discusses evidence that consumer choice may be not utility maximizing and systematically distorted away from intrinsically motivated options, especially environment-friendly consumption. Finally, the paper describes how happiness data can be used in a novel approach to the monetary valuation of environmental quality and discusses the associated benefits and problems in relation to conventional methods.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VDY-4WM8WNJ-1/2/993153b69c1f53d72b603e0ad28274c6
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
Issue (Month): 11 (September)
Pages: 2735-2742

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:11:p:2735-2742

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Environmental economics Happiness Externalities Environment-friendly consumption Environmental valuation;

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Martinsson, Peter, 2003. "Do You Enjoy Having More Than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods," Working Papers in Economics 100, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
  3. Nick Carroll & Paul Frijters & Michael Shields, 2009. "Quantifying the costs of drought: new evidence from life satisfaction data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 445-461, April.
  4. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Economic Consequences of Mispredicting Utility," IEW - Working Papers 218, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Layard, Richard, 1980. "Human Satisfactions and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 737-50, December.
  6. Bruno Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2009. "The life satisfaction approach to valuing public goods: The case of terrorism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 317-345, March.
  7. John M. Gowdy, 2007. "Behavioral Economics and Climate Change Policy," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0701, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  8. Welsch, Heinz, 2006. "Environment and happiness: Valuation of air pollution using life satisfaction data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 801-813, July.
  9. Howarth, Richard B., 1996. "Status effects and environmental externalities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 25-34, January.
  10. George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," General Economics and Teaching 0012003, EconWPA.
  11. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
  12. Kahneman, Daniel & Wakker, Peter P & Sarin, Rakesh, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-405, May.
  13. Heinz Welsch, 2008. "The Social Costs of Civil Conflict: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 320-340, 05.
  14. Wendner, Ronald & Goulder, Lawrence H., 2008. "Status Effects, Public Goods Provision, and the Excess Burden," MPRA Paper 8260, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, . "Is Volunteering Rewarding in Itself?," IEW - Working Papers 180, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  16. Wendner, Ronald & Goulder, Lawrence H., 2008. "Status effects, public goods provision, and excess burden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1968-1985, October.
  17. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  18. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  19. Daniel Kahneman & Robert Sugden, 2005. "Experienced Utility as a Standard of Policy Evaluation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 161-181, 09.
  20. Johansson,Per-Olov, 1987. "The Economic Theory and Measurement of Environmental Benefits," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521348102, April.
  21. Welsch, Heinz, 2002. "Preferences over Prosperity and Pollution: Environmental Valuation Based on Happiness Surveys," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 473-94.
  22. Bernard M.S. van Praag & Barbara E. Baarsma, 2004. "Using Happiness Surveys to Value Intangibles: The Case of Airport Noise," CESifo Working Paper Series 1163, CESifo Group Munich.
  23. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  24. Sara J. Solnick & David Hemenway, 2005. "Are Positional Concerns Stronger in Some Domains than in Others?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 147-151, May.
  25. MacKerron, George & Mourato, Susana, 2009. "Life satisfaction and air quality in London," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1441-1453, March.
  26. Howarth, Richard B., 2006. "Optimal environmental taxes under relative consumption effects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 209-219, June.
  27. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  28. Richard Layard, 2006. "Happiness and Public Policy: a Challenge to the Profession," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C24-C33, 03.
  29. Welsch, Heinz, 2007. "Environmental welfare analysis: A life satisfaction approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 544-551, May.
  30. Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-41, May.
  31. J. Solnick, Sara & Hemenway, David, 1998. "Is more always better?: A survey on positional concerns," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 373-383, November.
  32. Rehdanz, Katrin & Maddison, David, 2005. "Climate and happiness," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 111-125, January.
    • Katrin Rehdanz & David J. Maddison, 2003. "Climate and Happiness," Working Papers FNU-20, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2003.
  33. Heinz Welsch & Jan Kühling, 2009. "Using Happiness Data For Environmental Valuation: Issues And Applications," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 385-406, 04.
  34. Ng, Yew-Kwang & Wang, Jianguo, 1993. "Relative income, aspiration, environmental quality, individual and political myopia : Why may the rat-race for material growth be welfare-reducing?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 3-23, July.
  35. Venkatachalam, L., 2008. "Behavioral economics for environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 640-645, November.
  36. Heinz Welsch, 2008. "The welfare costs of corruption," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(14), pages 1839-1849.
  37. Luechinger, Simon & Raschky, Paul A., 2009. "Valuing flood disasters using the life satisfaction approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 620-633, April.
  38. M. Sirgy, 1998. "Materialism and Quality of Life," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 227-260, March.
  39. Simon Luechinger, 2009. "Valuing Air Quality Using the Life Satisfaction Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 482-515, 03.
  40. Boskin, Michael J & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1978. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation when Individual Welfare Depends upon Relative Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 589-601, November.
  41. Friedel Bolle & Simon Kemp, 2009. "Can We Compare Life Satisfaction Between Nationalities? Evaluating Actual and Imagined Situations," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 90(3), pages 397-408, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Ferreira, Susana & Akay, Alpaslan & Brereton, Finbarr & Cuñado, Juncal & Martinsson, Peter & Moro, Mirko, 2012. "Life Satisfaction and Air Quality in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 6732, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Thi Kim Cuong PHAM & Phu NGUYEN-VAN, 2009. "Endogenous Fiscal Policies, Environmental Quality, and Status-Seeking Behavior," Working Papers of BETA 2009-22, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  3. Andrea Kollmann & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Why Does Environmental Policy in Representative Democracies Tend to Be Inadequate? A Preliminary Public Choice Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(12), pages 3710-3734, November.
  4. Jacopo Baggio & Elissaios Papyrakis, 2014. "Agent-Based Simulations of Subjective Well-Being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 115(2), pages 623-635, January.
  5. Welsch, Heinz & Kühling, Jan, 2010. "Pro-environmental behavior and rational consumer choice: Evidence from surveys of life satisfaction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 405-420, June.
  6. Li, Zhengtao & Folmer, Henk & Xue, Jianhong, 2014. "To what extent does air pollution affect happiness? The case of the Jinchuan mining area, China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 88-99.
  7. Oswald, Andrew J., 2012. "The Value to the Environmental Movement of the New Literature on the Economics of Happiness," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 997, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Alex Rees-Jones, 2010. "Do People Seek to Maximize Happiness? Evidence from New Surveys," NBER Working Papers 16489, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Juncal Cuñado & Fernando Gracia, 2013. "Environment and Happiness: New Evidence for Spain," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 112(3), pages 549-567, July.
  10. Engelbrecht, Hans-Jürgen, 2009. "Natural capital, subjective well-being, and the new welfare economics of sustainability: Some evidence from cross-country regressions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 380-388, December.
  11. Schäpke, Niko & Rauschmayer, Felix, 2012. "Addressing sufficiency: Including altruistic motives in behavioural models for sustainability transitions," UFZ Discussion Papers 17/2012, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:11:p:2735-2742. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.