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The impact of climate on life satisfaction

  • Maddison, David
  • Rehdanz, Katrin

We analyse the influence of climate on average life satisfaction in 79 countries using data from the World Values Survey. Climate is described in terms of ‘degree-months’ calculated as the cumulated monthly deviations from a base temperature of 65°F (18.3°C). Our results suggest that countries with climates characterised by a large number of degree-months enjoy significantly lower levels of life satisfaction. This finding is robust to a wide variety of model specifications. Using our results to analyse a particular climate change scenario associated with the IPCC A2 emissions scenario points to major losses for African countries, but modest gains for Northern Europe.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 12 ()
Pages: 2437-2445

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:12:p:2437-2445
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Welsch, Heinz, 2006. "Environment and happiness: Valuation of air pollution using life satisfaction data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 801-813, July.
  2. Bernard M.S. van Praag & B.E. Baarsma, 2004. "Using Happiness Surveys to value Intangibles; the Case of Airport Noise," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Ferreira, Susana & Moro, Mirko, 2009. "On the Use of Subjective Well-Being Data for Environmental Valuation," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2009-24, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  4. Katrin Rehdanz & David Maddison, 2009. "The amenity value of climate to households in Germany," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 150-167, January.
  5. 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.
  6. Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Happiness: A Revolution in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062771, December.
  7. Rehdanz, Katrin & Maddison, David, 2008. "Local environmental quality and life-satisfaction in Germany," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 787-797, February.
  8. Bradford, David F. & Hildebrandt, Gregory G., 1977. "Observable preferences for public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 111-131, October.
  9. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2010. "Recent Advances in the Economics of Individual Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 4850, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Simon Luechinger, 2009. "Valuing Air Quality Using the Life Satisfaction Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 482-515, 03.
  11. Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
  12. Brereton, Finbarr & Clinch, J. Peter & Ferreira, Susana, 2008. "Happiness, geography and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 386-396, April.
  13. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
  14. 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.
  15. Welsch, Heinz, 2002. "Preferences over Prosperity and Pollution: Environmental Valuation Based on Happiness Surveys," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 473-94.
  16. Christopher Timmins, 2007. "If You Cannot Take The Heat, Get Out Of The Cerrado … Recovering The Equilibrium Amenity Cost Of Nonmarginal Climate Change In Brazil," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25.
  17. 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.
  18. Rehdanz, Katrin & Maddison, David, 2005. "Climate and happiness," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 111-125, January.
    • Katrin Rehdanz & David J. Maddison, 2003. "Climate and Happiness," Working Papers FNU-20, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2003.
  19. Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-62, March.
  20. 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.
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