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Implications of happiness research for environmental economics

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  • Welsch, Heinz

Abstract

Using happiness data to study economic issues is a burgeoning field in recent economic literature. This paper shows that happiness research has considerable potential for environmental economic analysis. The paper discusses some implications of happiness research for environmental policy analysis, specifically with respect to the level of socially optimal environmental quality. It discusses evidence that consumer choice may be not utility maximizing and systematically distorted away from intrinsically motivated options, especially environment-friendly consumption. Finally, the paper describes how happiness data can be used in a novel approach to the monetary valuation of environmental quality and discusses the associated benefits and problems in relation to conventional methods.

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  • Welsch, Heinz, 2009. "Implications of happiness research for environmental economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 2735-2742, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:11:p:2735-2742
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