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The Life Satisfaction Approach to Environmental Valuation

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  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Simon Luechinger
  • Alois Stutzer

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 CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2836.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2836

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

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References

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  1. 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).
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  3. Brereton, Finbarr & Clinch, J. Peter & Ferreira, Susana, 2008. "Happiness, geography and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 386-396, April.
  4. 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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  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Hypertension and Happiness across Nations," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 828, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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  11. 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.
  12. Katrin Rehdanz & David J. Maddison, 2003. "Climate and Happiness," Working Papers FNU-20, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2003.
  13. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 1998. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 6826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2005. "Gross National Happiness as an Answer to the Easterlin Paradox?," Macroeconomics 0504027, EconWPA.
  15. 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.
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  18. repec:rtv:ceiswp:247 is not listed on IDEAS
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Beja Jr., Edsel L., 2011. "Subjective Well-Being Approach to Environmental Valuation: Evidence for Greenhouse Gas Emissions," MPRA Paper 27862, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Beja Jr, Edsel, 2012. "Who is happier: Housewife or working wife?," MPRA Paper 40533, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. 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.
  11. Maike Schmitt, 2013. "Subjective Well-Being and Air Quality in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 541, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  12. Clough, Peter & Hickman, Matt & Stephenson, John, 2013. "Valuing natural assets," NZIER Working Paper 2013/3, New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.

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