Climate and happiness
Climate is an important input to many human activities. Climate affects heating and cooling requirements, determines clothing and nutritional needs and limits recreational activities. As such it is to be expected that individuals will have a preference for particular types of climate. These preferences have indeed been observed using a variety of approaches including regional analyses of wage rates and land prices, the propensity to migrate, and analyses based on household consumption patterns. Mindful of existing research this paper analyses a panel of 67 countries attempting to explain differences in self-reported levels of happiness by reference to amongst other things temperature and precipitation. Various indices are used for each of these variables including means, extremes and number of months with a particular climate like the number of hot and cold months. Using a panel-corrected least squares approach the paper demonstrates that, even when controlling for a range of other factors, climate variables have a particularly powerful effect on self reported levels of happiness. Furthermore there is a correspondence between the findings that emerge from this analysis and earlier studies with respect to what constitutes a preferred climate. The relationship between climate and self reported happiness is of particular interest because of the much discussed threat of anthropogenically induced climate change. Differential patterns of warming along with a changed distribution of rainfall promises to alter dramatically the distribution of happiness between nations with some countries moving towards a preferred climate and others moving further away. We find that higher mean temperatures in the coldest month increase happiness, whereas higher mean temperatures in the hottest month decrease happiness. Precipitation does not significantly affect happiness. In particular high latitude countries included in our dataset might benefit from temperature changes. Countries alread
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1997.
"A Case for Happiness, Cardinalism, and Interpersonal Comparability,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1848-58, November.
- Yew-Kwang, Ng, 1997. "A case for Happiness, Cardinalism, and Interpersonal Comparability," Departmental Working Papers _081, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
- Oswald, A.J., 1997.
"Happiness and Economic Performance,"
18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
- Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Katrin Rehdanz & David Maddison, 2004.
"The Amenity Value of Climate to German Households,"
2004.57, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Cragg, Michael & Kahn, Matthew, 1997. "New Estimates of Climate Demand: Evidence from Location Choice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 261-284, September.
- Di Tella, R. & MacCulloch, R.J.: Oswald, A.J., 1997.
"The Macroeconomics of Happiness,"
19, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
- Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert J. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 615, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 1999. "The macroeconomics of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-1999, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
- DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001.
"Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness,"
ZEI Working Papers
B 03-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
- Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
- Daly, Herman E., 1987. "The economic growth debate: What some economists have learned but many have not," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 323-336, December.
- Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change. Part 1: Benchmark Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(1), pages 47-73, January.
- Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
- Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000.
"Happiness, Economy and Institutions,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-38, October.
- Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
- Frank, Robert H, 1997. "The Frame of Reference as a Public Good," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1832-47, November.
- Cragg, Michael I. & Kahn, Matthew E., 1999. "Climate consumption and climate pricing from 1940 to 1990," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 519-539, July.
- Piet Ouweneel, 2002. "Social Security and Well-Being of the Unemployed in 42 Nations," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 167-192, June.
- Bradford, David F. & Hildebrandt, Gregory G., 1977. "Observable preferences for public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 111-131, October.
- Maddison, David, 2003. "The amenity value of the climate: the household production function approach," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 155-175, May.
- Ruut Veenhoven, 2000. "The Four Qualities of Life," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-39, March.
- Blomquist, Glenn C & Berger, Mark C & Hoehn, John P, 1988. "New Estimates of Quality of Life in Urban Areas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 89-107, March.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, .
"What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?,"
IEW - Working Papers
080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- 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.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
- Maddison, David & Bigano, Andrea, 2003. "The amenity value of the Italian climate," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 319-332, March.
- Aaron Ahuvia, 2002. "Individualism/Collectivism and Cultures of Happiness: A Theoretical Conjecture on the Relationship between Consumption, Culture and Subjective Well-Being at the National Level," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 23-36, March.
- Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
- Jeffrey Englin, 1996. "Estimating the amenity value of rainfall," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 30(3), pages 273-283.
- Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
- Welsch, Heinz, 2002. "Preferences over Prosperity and Pollution: Environmental Valuation Based on Happiness Surveys," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 473-94.
- Van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1988. "Climate equivalence scales : An application of a general method," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1019-1024, April.
- Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:52:y:2005:i:1:p:111-125. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.