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The Life Satisfaction Approach to Environmental Valuation

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  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Simon Luechinger
  • Alois Stutzer

    ()
    (University of Basel)

Abstract

In many countries environmental policies and regulations are implemented to improve environmental quality and thus individuals’ well-being. However, how do individuals value the environment? In this paper, we review the Life Satisfaction Approach (LSA) representing a new non-market valuation technique. The LSA builds on the recent development of subjective well-being research in economics and takes measures of reported life satisfaction as an empirical approximation to individual welfare. Micro-econometric life satisfaction functions are estimated taking into account environmental conditions along with income and other covariates. The estimated coefficients for the environmental good and income can then be used to calculate the implicit willingness-to-pay for the environmental good.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel in its series Working papers with number 2009/07.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2009/07

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Keywords: life satisfaction approach; subjective well-being; non-market valuation; costbenefit analysis; air pollution;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. MacKerron, George & Mourato, Susana, 2009. "Life satisfaction and air quality in London," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1441-1453, March.
  4. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2007. "Hypertension and Happiness across Nations," NBER Working Papers 12934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Patrick Bayer & Nathaniel Keohane & Christopher Timmins, 2006. "Migration and Hedonic Valuation: The Case of Air Quality," NBER Working Papers 12106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Richard Carson & Robert Mitchell & Michael Hanemann & Raymond Kopp & Stanley Presser & Paul Ruud, 2003. "Contingent Valuation and Lost Passive Use: Damages from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(3), pages 257-286, July.
  7. Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," IZA Discussion Papers 2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Carson, Richard T & Flores, Nicholas A, 2000. "Contingent Valuation: Controversies and Evidence," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt75k752s7, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  9. 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.
  10. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  11. 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.
  12. Brereton, Finbarr & Clinch, J. Peter & Ferreira, Susana, 2008. "Happiness, geography and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 386-396, April.
  13. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2005. "Gross National Happiness as an Answer to the Easterlin Paradox?," Macroeconomics 0504027, EconWPA.
  14. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
  15. 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.
  16. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L., 1992. "Valuing public goods: The purchase of moral satisfaction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 57-70, January.
  17. Smith, V. Kerry & Osborne, Laura L., 1996. "Do Contingent Valuation Estimates Pass a "Scope" Test? A Meta-analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 287-301, November.
  18. repec:rtv:ceiswp:247 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Paul Dolan & Robert Metcalfe, 2008. "Comparing Willingness-to-Pay and Subjective Well-Being in the Context of Non-Market Goods," CEP Discussion Papers dp0890, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Beja Jr, Edsel, 2012. "Two explanations to the willingness to accept and willingness to pay gap plus an alternative," MPRA Paper 36239, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Recent Advances in the Economics of Individual Subjective Well-Being," Working papers 2010/04, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  3. Beja Jr, Edsel, 2012. "Who is happier: Housewife or working wife?," MPRA Paper 40533, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Edsel Beja Jr., 2013. "Subjective Well-Being Approach to the Valuation of International Development: Evidence for the Millennium Development Goals," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 141-159, March.
  5. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Happiness: A New Approach in Economics," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 8(4), pages 3-7, 01.
  6. Alexander M. Danzer & Natalia Danzer, 2014. "The Long-Run Consequences of Chernobyl: Evidence on Subjective Well-Being, Mental Health and Welfare," CESifo Working Paper Series 4855, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Schmitt, Maike, 2013. "Subjective Well-Being and Air Quality in Germany," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 133(2), pages 275-286.
  8. Christine Bertram & Katrin Rehdanz, 2014. "The role of urban green space for human well-being," Kiel Working Papers 1911, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 115347, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  11. 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 152133, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  12. Edsel Beja, 2012. "Subjective Well-Being Approach to Environmental Valuation: Evidence for Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 109(2), pages 243-266, November.
  13. Beja Jr, Edsel & Yap, David B., 2012. "Counting happiness from the individual level to the group level," MPRA Paper 40214, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Christopher Ambrey & Christopher Fleming, 2014. "Valuing Ecosystem Diversity in South East Queensland: A Life Satisfaction Approach," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 115(1), pages 45-65, January.
  15. 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.
  16. Ambrey, Christopher L. & Fleming, Christopher M. & Chan, Andrew Yiu-Chung, 2014. "Estimating the cost of air pollution in South East Queensland: An application of the life satisfaction non-market valuation approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 172-181.
  17. Clough, Peter & Hickman, Matt & Stephenson, John, 2013. "Valuing natural assets," NZIER Working Paper 2013/3, New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.
  18. Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, 2010. "Happiness and Political Institutions," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 8(4), pages 32-36, 01.

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