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Subjective Well-Being and Air Quality in Germany

  • Maike Schmitt

This paper analyses the relation between air quality and subjective well-being in Germany. Life Satisfaction (LS) data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) is connected with daily county pollution in terms of carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3) from 1998 to 2008. The assumed microeconometric happiness function is estimated considering individual time invariant effects. It is observed that O3 has a significant negative impact on life satisfaction. The estimated influence of current CO as well as NO2 is not significant. Moreover, I found that LS of people with environmental worries is more affected by ozone pollution. This was not the case for people with a bad health status. Using the marginal rate of substitution between income and air pollution, it is calculated that an increase of one µg/m3 in daily average county O3 has to be compensated by an increase of EUR11.33 in monthly net household income to hold an average individual's LS constant.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.416307.de/diw_sp0541.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 541.

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Length: 24 p.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp541
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Web page: http://www.diw.de/en/soep
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  1. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2009. "The Life Satisfaction Approach to Environmental Valuation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2836, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Johannesson, Magnus, 2001. "The relationship between happiness, health, and socio-economic factors: results based on Swedish microdata," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 553-557.
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  5. Katrin Rehdanz & David J. Maddison, 2006. "Local Environmental Quality and Life-Satisfaction in Germany," Working Papers FNU-119, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Sep 2006.
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    • Katrin Rehdanz & David J. Maddison, 2003. "Climate and Happiness," Working Papers FNU-20, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2003.
  12. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2001, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  13. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  14. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  15. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel, 2010. "Better an insecure job than no job at all? Unemployment, job insecurity and subjective wellbeing," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(3), pages 2486-2494.
  16. Sonja C. Kassenboehmer & John P. Haisken-DeNew, 2008. "You’re Fired! The Causal Negative Effect of Unemployment on Life Satisfaction," Ruhr Economic Papers 0063, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  17. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  18. MacKerron, George & Mourato, Susana, 2009. "Life satisfaction and air quality in London," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1441-1453, March.
  19. Theodossiou, I., 1998. "The effects of low-pay and unemployment on psychological well-being: A logistic regression approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 85-104, January.
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