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The greener, the happier? The effect of urban land use on residential well-being

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  • Krekel, Christian
  • Kolbe, Jens
  • Wüstemann, Henry

Abstract

We investigate the effect of urban land use on residential well-being in major German cities, using panel data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and cross-section data from the European Urban Atlas. We reduce concerns about endogeneity by employing fixed-effects (within) estimators, with individual and city of residence fixed effects, while controlling for a rich set of observables. The results show that access to green urban areas, such as gardens and parks, is positively associated with, whereas access to abandoned areas, such as waste or leftover land, is negatively associated with life satisfaction. The effects are strongest for residents who are older, accounting for up to a third of the size of the effect of being unemployed on life satisfaction. We calculate the marginal willingness-to-pay of residents in order to have access to green urban and abandoned areas in their surroundings, as well as the life-satisfaction maximising amounts of them. Finally, we provide a policy case study, while discussing limitations and avenues for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Krekel, Christian & Kolbe, Jens & Wüstemann, Henry, 2016. "The greener, the happier? The effect of urban land use on residential well-being," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 117-127.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:121:y:2016:i:c:p:117-127
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.11.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Knight, S.J; Howley, P.;, 2017. "Can clean air make you happy? Examining the effect of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on life satisfaction," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 17/08, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Paul Dolan & Georgios Kavetsos & Christian Krekel & Dimitris Mavridis & Robert Metcalfe & Claudia Senik & Stefan Szymanski & Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2016. "The Host with the Most? The Effects of the Olympic Games on Happiness," PSE Working Papers halshs-01349354, HAL.
    3. Yat Yen & Zhanqi Wang & Yumin Shi & Bunly Soeung, 2016. "An Assessment of the Knowledge and Demand of Young Residents regarding the Ecological Services of Urban Green Spaces in Phnom Penh, Cambodia," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(6), pages 1-11, May.
    4. Claudio Othón Cruz Martínez, 2016. "Una aproximación al valor social y ambiental de las áreas verdes urbanas de la Ciudad de México," Graduate theses (Spanish) TESG 011, CIDE, División de Economía.
    5. Brown, Zachary S. & Oueslati, Walid & Silva, Jérôme, 2016. "Links between urban structure and life satisfaction in a cross-section of OECD metro areas," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 112-121.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Life satisfaction; Urban land use; Green urban areas; Forests; Waters; Abandoned areas; German Socio-Economic Panel; European Urban Atlas; Monetary valuation; Spatial analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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