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Environmental Awareness and Happiness

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  • Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell

    ()
    (Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies & Faculty of Economics and Econometrics (SCHOLAR), University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • John M. Gowdy

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY 12180-3590, USA)

Abstract

The focus of this paper is on the relationship between an individual's environmental attitudes (or awareness) and well-being. We use an ordered probit model to examine the relationship between individual measures of subjective well-being and environmental attitudes regarding ozone pollution and species extinction. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey we find a negative correlation between well-being and concern about ozone pollution and a positive correlation between well-being and concern about species extinction. These relationships hold when explanatory variables are included indicating whether or not the person lives in a polluted environment and whether or not the person engages in outdoor leisure activities. These relationships also hold when we control for individual psychological traits. Our results are an important step in clarifying some of the subtleties of the relationship between environmental quality and well-being. This research area is important in addressing the related issues of sustainability and environmental policy design.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics in its series Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics with number 0503.

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Date of creation: Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:rpi:rpiwpe:0503

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  1. Welsch, Heinz, 2002. "Preferences over Prosperity and Pollution: Environmental Valuation Based on Happiness Surveys," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 473-94.
  2. Bernard M. S. van Praag & P. Frijters & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2001. "The Anatomy of Subjective Well-Being," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 265, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. 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.
  4. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  5. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Money Does Matter! Evidence from Increasing Real Income and Life Satisfaction in East Germany Following Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
  6. Antonio Rangel, 2003. "Forward and Backward Intergenerational Goods: Why Is Social Security Good for the Environment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 813-834, June.
  7. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
  8. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Juncal Cuñado & Fernando Pérez de Gracia, 2010. "Education and happiness in Spain," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 5, in: María Jesús Mancebón-Torrubia & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & José María Gómez-Sancho & Greg (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 10, pages 206-222 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
  2. Stefano Bartolini & Francesco Sarracino, 2011. "Happy for How Long? How Social Capital and GDP relate to Happiness over Time," Department of Economics University of Siena 621, Department of Economics, University of Siena.

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