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Valuing Air Quality Using the Life Satisfaction Approach

  • Simon Luechinger

I use the life satisfaction approach to value air quality, combining individual-level panel and high-resolution SO 2 data. To avoid simultaneity problems, I construct a novel instrument exploiting the natural experiment created by the mandated scrubber installation at power plants, with wind directions dividing counties into treatment and control groups. I find a negative effect of pollution on well-being that is larger for instrumental variable than conventional estimates, robust to controls for local unemployment, particulate pollution, reunification effects and rural/urban trends, and larger for environmentalists and predicted risk groups. To calculate total willingness-to-pay, the estimates are supplemented by hedonic housing regressions. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2009.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 119 (2009)
Issue (Month): 536 (03)
Pages: 482-515

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:119:y:2009:i:536:p:482-515
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