IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecolec/v147y2018icp96-113.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Every breath you take, every move you make: Visits to the outdoors and physical activity help to explain the relationship between air pollution and subjective wellbeing

Author

Listed:
  • Laffan, Kate

Abstract

Why does living in a more polluted environment predict lower subjective wellbeing (SWB)? Though much evidence exists linking local air pollution to individuals' reports of their own wellbeing, the mechanisms giving rise to these relationships are not well understood. Using pooled cross-sectional data from Natural England's Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment survey, the current work investigates whether air pollution is related to engagement in physical activity and visits to the outdoors and whether frequency of engagement in these behaviours can help to explain the link between air pollution and SWB. The results indicate that local levels of particulate matter are negatively associated with the frequency with which individuals undertake both of these activities, that engagement in these behaviours wholly mediates the association between air pollution and how worthwhile individuals consider their activities to be, and that the frequency of visits to the outdoors partially mediates the negative association between local air pollution and life satisfaction. From a policy perspective, these findings highlight the need to understand the behavioural pathways through which environmental conditions relate to SWB, in order to know how to best promote it.

Suggested Citation

  • Laffan, Kate, 2018. "Every breath you take, every move you make: Visits to the outdoors and physical activity help to explain the relationship between air pollution and subjective wellbeing," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 96-113.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:147:y:2018:i:c:p:96-113
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.12.024
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800916314136
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.12.024?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Richard Breen & Kristian Bernt Karlson & Anders Holm, 2013. "Total, Direct, and Indirect Effects in Logit and Probit Models," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 42(2), pages 164-191, May.
    2. Simon Luechinger, 2009. "Valuing Air Quality Using the Life Satisfaction Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 482-515, March.
    3. Ulrich Kohler, 2011. "Comparing coefficients between nested nonlinear probability models," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2011 08, Stata Users Group.
    4. Luechinger, Simon, 2010. "Life satisfaction and transboundary air pollution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 4-6, April.
    5. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
    6. Schmitt, Maike, 2013. "Subjective Well-Being and Air Quality in Germany," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 133(2), pages 275-286.
    7. Dolan, Paul & Laffan, Kate, 2016. "Bad Air Days: The Effects of Air Quality on Different Measures of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 147-195, April.
    8. Alison L. Sexton Ward & Timothy K. M. Beatty, 2016. "Who Responds to Air Quality Alerts?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 65(2), pages 487-511, October.
    9. Saberian, Soodeh & Heyes, Anthony & Rivers, Nicholas, 2017. "Alerts work! Air quality warnings and cycling," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 165-185.
    10. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "The Life Satisfaction Approach to Environmental Valuation," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 139-160, October.
    11. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel & Ronnie Schöb & Joachim Weimann, 2010. "Dissatisfied with Life but Having a Good Day: Time-use and Well-being of the Unemployed," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(547), pages 867-889, September.
    12. John Feddersen & Robert Metcalfe & Mark Wooden, 2012. "Subjective Well-Being: Weather Matters; Climate Doesn't," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2012n25, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    13. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
    14. Li, Zhengtao & Folmer, Henk & Xue, Jianhong, 2014. "To what extent does air pollution affect happiness? The case of the Jinchuan mining area, China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 88-99.
    15. Levinson, Arik, 2012. "Valuing public goods using happiness data: The case of air quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 869-880.
    16. de Vries, Sjerp & van Dillen, Sonja M.E. & Groenewegen, Peter P. & Spreeuwenberg, Peter, 2013. "Streetscape greenery and health: Stress, social cohesion and physical activity as mediators," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 26-33.
    17. Ferreira, Susana & Akay, Alpaslan & Brereton, Finbarr & Cuñado, Juncal & Martinsson, Peter & Moro, Mirko & Ningal, Tine F., 2013. "Life satisfaction and air quality in Europe," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 1-10.
    18. Graff Zivin, Joshua & Neidell, Matthew, 2009. "Days of haze: Environmental information disclosure and intertemporal avoidance behavior," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 119-128, September.
    19. Bernard M. S. van Praag & Barbara E. Baarsma, 2005. "Using Happiness Surveys to Value Intangibles: The Case of Airport Noise," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 224-246, January.
    20. Christopher Christodoulou & Stefan Schneider & Arthur Stone, 2014. "Validation of a Brief Yesterday Measure of Hedonic Well-Being and Daily Activities: Comparison with the Day Reconstruction Method," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 115(3), pages 907-917, February.
    21. Jennifer D Roberts & Jameson D Voss & Brandon Knight, 2014. "The Association of Ambient Air Pollution and Physical Inactivity in the United States," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 9(3), pages 1-10, March.
    22. MacKerron, George & Mourato, Susana, 2009. "Life satisfaction and air quality in London," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1441-1453, March.
    23. Heinz Welsch, 2002. "Preferences over Prosperity and Pollution: Environmental Valuation based on Happiness Surveys," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 473-494, November.
    24. Bruno Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2009. "The life satisfaction approach to valuing public goods: The case of terrorism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 317-345, March.
    25. Brereton, Finbarr & Clinch, J. Peter & Ferreira, Susana, 2008. "Happiness, geography and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 386-396, April.
    26. Welsch, Heinz, 2002. "Preferences over Prosperity and Pollution: Environmental Valuation Based on Happiness Surveys," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 473-494.
    27. Paul Dolan & Richard Layard & Robert Metcalfe, 2011. "Measuring Subjective Wellbeing for Public Policy: Recommendations on Measures," CEP Special Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    28. Juncal Cuñado & Fernando Gracia, 2013. "Environment and Happiness: New Evidence for Spain," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 112(3), pages 549-567, July.
    29. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Gowdy, John M., 2007. "Environmental degradation and happiness," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 509-516, January.
    30. Paul Downward & Simona Rasciute, 2011. "Does sport make you happy? An analysis of the well-being derived from sports participation," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 331-348.
    31. Welsch, Heinz, 2006. "Environment and happiness: Valuation of air pollution using life satisfaction data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 801-813, July.
    32. Ulrich Kohler & Kristian Bernt Karlson & Anders Holm, 2011. "Comparing coefficients of nested nonlinear probability models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(3), pages 420-438, September.
    33. Lincoln R Larson & Viniece Jennings & Scott A Cloutier, 2016. "Public Parks and Wellbeing in Urban Areas of the United States," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(4), pages 1-19, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. García-Mainar, Inmaculada & Montuenga, Víctor M. & Navarro-Paniagua, María, 2015. "Workplace environmental conditions and life satisfaction in Spain," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 136-146.
    2. Bertram, Christine & Rehdanz, Katrin, 2015. "The role of urban green space for human well-being," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 139-152.
    3. Welsch, Heinz & Ferreira, Susana, 2014. "Environment, Well-Being, and Experienced Preference," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 7(3-4), pages 205-239, December.
    4. Ferreira, Susana & Akay, Alpaslan & Brereton, Finbarr & Cuñado, Juncal & Martinsson, Peter & Moro, Mirko & Ningal, Tine F., 2013. "Life satisfaction and air quality in Europe," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 1-10.
    5. Yuan, Liang & Shin, Kongjoo & Managi, Shunsuke, 2018. "Subjective Well-being and Environmental Quality: The Impact of Air Pollution and Green Coverage in China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 124-138.
    6. Eleftherios Giovanis, 2019. "Worthy to lose some money for better air quality: applications of Bayesian networks on the causal effect of income and air pollution on life satisfaction in Switzerland," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 57(5), pages 1579-1611, November.
    7. Yenniel Mendoza & Roger Loyola & Alonso Aguilar & Roberto Escalante, 2019. "Valuation of Air Quality in Chile: The Life Satisfaction Approach," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 367-387, August.
    8. Levinson, Arik, 2012. "Valuing public goods using happiness data: The case of air quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 869-880.
    9. Rehdanz, Katrin & Welsch, Heinz & Narita, Daiju & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2013. "Well-being effects of a major negative externality: The case of Fukushima," Kiel Working Papers 1855, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    10. 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.
    11. Ambrey, Christopher L. & Fleming, Christopher M., 2011. "Valuing scenic amenity using life satisfaction data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 106-115.
    12. Arik Levinson, "undated". "Happiness and Air Pollution," Working Papers gueconwpa~20-23-10, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    13. Christopher Barrington-Leigh & Fatemeh Behzadnejad, 2017. "Evaluating the short-term cost of low-level local air pollution: a life satisfaction approach," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 19(2), pages 269-298, April.
    14. Rehdanz, Katrin & Welsch, Heinz & Narita, Daiju & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2015. "Well-being effects of a major natural disaster: The case of Fukushima," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 500-517.
    15. Arik Levinson, 2020. "Happiness and Air Pollution," Working Papers gueconwpa~20-20-03, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    16. Russell Smyth & Ingrid Nielsen & Qingguo Zhai & Tiemin Liu & Yin Liu & C.Y. Tang & Zhihong Wang & Zuxiang Wang & Juyong Zhang, 2008. "Environmental Surroundings And Personal Well-Being In Urban China," Monash Economics Working Papers 32/08, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    17. Eleftherios Giovanis & Oznur Ozdamar, 2016. "Structural Equation Modelling And The Causal Effect Of Permanent Income On Life Satisfaction: The Case Of Air Pollution Valuation In Switzerland," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 430-459, July.
    18. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Stutzer, Alois, 2014. "Economic Approaches to Understanding Change in Happiness," IZA Discussion Papers 8131, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Barrington-Leigh, Christopher & Behzadnejad, Fatemeh, 2017. "The impact of daily weather conditions on life satisfaction: Evidence from cross-sectional and panel data," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 145-163.
    20. Christopher Ambrey & Christopher Fleming, 2014. "Valuing Ecosystem Diversity in South East Queensland: A Life Satisfaction Approach," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 115(1), pages 45-65, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective wellbeing; Air pollution; Environmental quality; Mediation; Physical activity; Visits outdoors;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:147:y:2018:i:c:p:96-113. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.