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The Long-Term Effects of the Chernobyl Catastrophe on Subjective Well-Being and Mental Health

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Author Info

  • Danzer, Alexander M.

    ()
    (University of Munich)

  • Danzer, Natalia

    ()
    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Abstract

This paper assesses the long-term subjective well-being and mental health toll of the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 in the general Ukrainian population and estimates the monetary differential necessary to compensate victims of the catastrophe. The analysis is based on two nationally representative Ukrainian data sets and reveals that even 20 years after the accident subjective well-being is negatively associated with self-reported assessments of having been affected by the catastrophe. The causal long-term effect of the disaster on life satisfaction is established by exploiting variation in official radiation data which are linked to survey respondents through information on their place of living in 1986. We find higher depression and trauma rates as well as poorer subjective life expectancy among those stronger affected by Chernobyl. Expressed in monetary terms, the estimated amount of income required to compensate for the experienced utility loss amounts to an annual cost of seven percent of Ukraine's GDP.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5906.

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Length: 65 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5906

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Keywords: Chernobyl catastrophe; subjective well-being; mental health; instrumental variable;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Anton Parlow, 2012. "Armed Conflict and Children’s Health – Exploring new directions: The case of Kashmir," HiCN Working Papers 119, Households in Conflict Network.
  2. Yamamura, Eiji, 2013. "Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the body mass index of students in Japan," MPRA Paper 43920, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Eiji Yamamura, 2012. "Effect of Free Media on Views Regarding Nuclear Energy after the Fukushima Accident," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 132-141, 02.
  4. Goebel, J.; & Krekel, C.; & Tiefenbach, T.; & Ziebarth, N.;, 2013. "Natural Disaster, Policy Action, and Mental Well Being: The Case of Fukushima," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York 13/28, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  5. Parlow, Anton, 2012. "Armed conflict and children's health - exploring new directions: The case of Kashmir," MPRA Paper 38033, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Felix Richter & Malte Steenbeck & Markus Wilhelm, 2012. "Nuclear Accidents and Policy: Notes on Public Perception," Working Papers 045, Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg.
  7. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Effect of free media on views regarding the safety of nuclear energy after the 2011 disasters in Japan: evidence using cross-country data," MPRA Paper 32011, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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