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The Life Satisfaction Approach to Environmental Valuation

Author

Listed:
  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Simon Luechinger
  • Alois Stutzer

Abstract

In many countries environmental policies and regulations are implemented to improve environmental quality and thus individuals’ well-being. However, how do individuals value the environment? In this paper, we review the Life Satisfaction Approach (LSA) representing a new non-market valuation technique. The LSA builds on the recent development of subjective well-being research in economics and takes measures of reported life satisfaction as an empirical approximation to individual welfare. Micro-econometric life satisfaction functions are estimated taking into account environmental conditions along with income and other covariates. The estimated coefficients for the environmental good and income can then be used to calculate the implicit willingness-to-pay for the environmental good.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2009. "The Life Satisfaction Approach to Environmental Valuation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2836, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2836
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Salvador Saz-Salazar & Ana Navarrete-Tudela & José Ramón Alcalá-Mellado & Daniel Carlos Saz-Salazar, 2019. "On the Use of Life Satisfaction Data for Valuing Cultural Goods: A First Attempt and a Comparison with the Contingent Valuation Method," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 119-140, January.
    3. Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza & Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo & Felipe Bedoya-Maya, 2017. "An Uphill Battle: The Relationship Between Geography and Terrorism," Documentos de Trabajo CIEF 015759, Universidad EAFIT.
    4. 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.
    5. Ambrey, Christopher L. & Fleming, Christopher M., 2011. "Valuing scenic amenity using life satisfaction data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 106-115.
    6. Clough, Peter & Hickman, Matt & Stephenson, John, 2013. "Valuing natural assets," NZIER Working Paper 2013/3, New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.
    7. Jenny Willson & Andy Dickerson, 2010. "Part time employment and happiness: A cross-country analysis," Working Papers 2010021, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2010.
    8. Ambrey, Christopher L. & Fleming, Christopher M., 2011. "Valuing Ecosystem Diversity in South East Queensland: A Life Satisfaction Approach," 2011 Conference, August 25-26, 2011, Nelson, New Zealand 115347, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    9. Stoeckl, Natalie & Farr, Marina & Larson, Silva & Adams, Vanessa M. & Kubiszewski, Ida & Esparon, Michelle & Costanza, Robert, 2014. "A new approach to the problem of overlapping values: A case study in Australia׳s Great Barrier Reef," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 10(C), pages 61-78.
    10. Dreher, Axel & Krieger, Tim & Meierrieks, Daniel, 2011. "Hit and (they will) run: The impact of terrorism on migration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 42-46, October.
    11. Dickerson, Andy & Hole, Arne Risa & Munford, Luke A., 2014. "The relationship between well-being and commuting revisited: Does the choice of methodology matter?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 321-329.
    12. Kant, Shashi & Vertinsky, Ilan & Zheng, Bin, 2016. "Valuation of First Nations peoples' social, cultural, and land use activities using life satisfaction approach," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 46-55.
    13. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Gërxhani, Klarita, 2016. "Tax evasion and well-being: A study of the social and institutional context in Central and Eastern Europe," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 149-159.
    14. Akay, Alpaslan & Bargain, Olivier & Elsayed, Ahmed, 2018. "Everybody's a Victim? Global Terror, Well-Being and Political Attitudes," Working Papers in Economics 733, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    15. Brenig, Mattheus & Proeger, Till, 2016. "Putting a price tag on security: Subjective well-being and willingness-to-pay for crime reduction in Europe," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 278, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    16. Bellet, Clement, 2017. "The paradox of the Joneses: superstar houses andmortgage frenzy in suburban America," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 69044, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    life satisfaction approach; subjective well-being; non-market valuation; cost-benefit analysis; air pollution;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • 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
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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