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Valuing Ecosystem Diversity in South East Queensland: A Life Satisfaction Approach

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  • Christopher Ambrey
  • Christopher Fleming

Abstract

The valuation of complex environmental goods represents a considerable challenge for conventional non-market valuation techniques. The use of life satisfaction (or happiness) data has recently emerged as a new means of placing monetary values on non-market goods and services. This approach offers several advantages over more conventional techniques. This paper uses data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey along with Geographic Information Systems data to value ecosystem diversity in South East Queensland, Australia. It is found that, on average, a respondent has an implicit willingness-to-pay of approximately AUD$14 000 in household income per annum to obtain a one unit improvement in ecosystem diversity. This result confirms that the preservation, or improvement, of existing levels of ecosystem diversity is welfare enhancing. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to value ecosystem diversity using the life satisfaction approach. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:115:y:2014:i:1:p:45-65
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-012-0208-4
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    Cited by:

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    2. Takuya Takahashi & Yukiko Uchida & Hiroyuki Ishibashi & Noboru Okuda, 2021. "Subjective Well-Being as a Potential Policy Indicator in the Context of Urbanization and Forest Restoration," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(6), pages 1-17, March.
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    4. Plant, Lyndal & Rambaldi, Alicia & Sipe, Neil, 2017. "Evaluating Revealed Preferences for Street Tree Cover Targets: A Business Case for Collaborative Investment in Leafier Streetscapes in Brisbane, Australia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 238-249.
    5. Christopher L. Ambrey & Peter Daniels, 2017. "Happiness and footprints: assessing the relationship between individual well-being and carbon footprints," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 895-920, June.
    6. Jarvis, Diane & Stoeckl, Natalie & Liu, Hong-Bo, 2017. "New methods for valuing, and for identifying spatial variations, in cultural services: A case study of the Great Barrier Reef," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 58-67.
    7. Farnsworth, K.D. & Adenuga, A.H. & de Groot, R.S., 2015. "The complexity of biodiversity: A biological perspective on economic valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 350-354.
    8. Christopher Ambrey & Christopher Fleming, 2014. "Public Greenspace and Life Satisfaction in Urban Australia," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 51(6), pages 1290-1321, May.
    9. Ambrey, Christopher L. & Fleming, Christopher M., 2014. "The causal effect of income on life satisfaction and the implications for valuing non-market goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 131-134.
    10. 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.
    11. Kubiszewski, Ida & Zakariyya, Nabeeh & Costanza, Robert, 2018. "Objective and Subjective Indicators of Life Satisfaction in Australia: How Well Do People Perceive What Supports a Good Life?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 361-372.
    12. Lyndal Plant & Alicia N. Rambaldi & Neil Sipe, 2016. "Property value returns on investment in street trees: a business case for collaborative investment in Brisbane, Australia," Discussion Papers Series 563, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    13. Christopher L. Ambrey & Christopher M. Fleming & Matthew Manning & Christine Smith, 2016. "On the Confluence of Freedom of the Press, Control of Corruption and Societal Welfare," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(2), pages 859-880, September.
    14. Christian WEISMAYER & Ivo PONOCNY & Sabine SEDLACEK & Bernadette STROSS & Stefan DRESSLER, 2017. "The Relationship Between Natural Urban Surroundings And Residents’ Well-Being," Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 12(1), pages 21-37, February.
    15. 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.
    16. Weiyan Hu & Siyu Zhang & Yan Song & Tian Liu & Yingchao Lin & Anlu Zhang, 2018. "Effects of Multifunctional Rural Land Use on Residents’ Wellbeing: Evidence from the Xinzhou District of Wuhan City, China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(10), pages 1-18, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Biodiversity; Ecosystem diversity; Household; Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA); Life satisfaction; Non-market valuation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General

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