IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/duh/wpaper/1405.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Natural Disaster, Environmental Concerns, Well-Being and Policy Action

Author

Listed:
  • Jan Goebel
  • Christian Krekel
  • Tim Tiefenbach
  • Nicholas R. Ziebarth

Abstract

We study the impact of the Fukushima disaster on environmental concerns and well†being in Germany and other industrialized countries, more than 5,000 miles distant. While we do not find evidence that subjective well†being was significantly affected — not in Germany, Switzerland, or the UK — the disaster significantly increased environmental concerns by about 20% among Germans. Empirical evidence suggests that the operating channel through which the disaster affected environmental concerns was primarily through the perceived risk of a similar meltdown of domestic reactors. Additionally, more Germans considered themselves as very risk averse after Fukushima. Drastic policy action in Germany permanently shut down the oldest reactors, implemented the phase†out of the remaining ones, and proclaimed the transition to renewables. This energy policy turnaround was largely supported by the German population and contributed to the subsequent significant decrease in environmental concerns, particularly among women, Green Party supporters, and people living close to the oldest reactors.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Goebel & Christian Krekel & Tim Tiefenbach & Nicholas R. Ziebarth, 2014. "Natural Disaster, Environmental Concerns, Well-Being and Policy Action," CINCH Working Paper Series 1405, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health.
  • Handle: RePEc:duh:wpaper:1405
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://cinch.uni-due.de/fileadmin/content/research/workingpaper/1405_CINCH-Series_krekel.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert Metcalfe & Nattavudh Powdthavee & Paul Dolan, 2011. "Destruction and Distress: Using a Quasi‐Experiment to Show the Effects of the September 11 Attacks on Mental Well‐Being in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(550), pages 81-103, February.
    2. Alain-Marc Rieu, 2013. "Thinking after Fukushima. Epistemic shift in social sciences," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 65-78, March.
    3. Nikolaos Askitas & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2009. "Google Econometrics and Unemployment Forecasting," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 55(2), pages 107-120.
    4. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, And Behavioral Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 522-550, June.
    5. Simon Luechinger, 2009. "Valuing Air Quality Using the Life Satisfaction Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 482-515, March.
    6. Kym Anderson & Gordon Rausser & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "Political Economy of Public Policies: Insights from Distortions to Agricultural and Food Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 423-477, June.
    7. Wadim Strielkowski & Štepán Krška & Evgeny Lisin, 2013. "Energy Economics and Policy of Renewable Energy Sources in the European Union," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 3(4), pages 333-340.
    8. Kasim Tatic & Merima Cinjarevic, 2010. "Relationship Between Environmental Concern And Green Purchasing Behavior," Interdisciplinary Management Research, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Economics, Croatia, vol. 6, pages 801-810.
    9. Aklin, Michaël & Bayer, Patrick & Harish, S.P. & Urpelainen, Johannes, 2013. "Understanding environmental policy preferences: New evidence from Brazil," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 28-36.
    10. Matthias Nübling & Hanfried H. Andersen & Axel Mühlbacher & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2007. "Computation of Standard Values for Physical and Mental Health Scale Scores Using the SOEP Version of SF12v2," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 171-182.
    11. D’Amuri, Francesco & Marcucci, Juri, 2017. "The predictive power of Google searches in forecasting US unemployment," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 801-816.
    12. Danzer, Alexander M. & Danzer, Natalia, 2011. "The Long-Term Effects of the Chernobyl Catastrophe on Subjective Well-Being and Mental Health," IZA Discussion Papers 5906, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Greenstone, Michael & Gayer, Ted, 2009. "Quasi-experimental and experimental approaches to environmental economics," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 21-44, January.
    14. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Mårten Palme, 2009. "Chernobyl's Subclinical Legacy: Prenatal Exposure to Radioactive Fallout and School Outcomes in Sweden," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1729-1772.
    15. Angus Deaton, 2012. "The financial crisis and the well-being of Americans," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(1), pages 1-26, January.
    16. Donald B. Marron & Eric J. Toder, 2014. "Tax Policy Issues in Designing a Carbon Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 563-568, May.
    17. Halla, Martin & Zweimüller, Martina, 2014. "Parental Response to Early Human Capital Shocks: Evidence from the Chernobyl Accident," IZA Discussion Papers 7968, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    19. Robert S. Pindyck, 2013. "Climate Change Policy: What Do the Models Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 860-872, September.
    20. Wang, Qiang & Chen, Xi & Yi-chong, Xu, 2013. "Accident like the Fukushima unlikely in a country with effective nuclear regulation: Literature review and proposed guidelines," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 126-146.
    21. Katrin Rehdanz & Welsch Heinz & Daiju Naritaa & Toshihiro Okubod, 2013. "Well-being effects of a major negative externality: The case of Fukushima," Working Papers V-358-13, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2013.
    22. Askitas, Nikos & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Googlemetrie und Arbeitsmarkt in der Wirtschaftskrise," IZA Standpunkte 17, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    23. Aoki, Masahiko & Rothwell, Geoffrey, 2013. "A comparative institutional analysis of the Fukushima nuclear disaster: Lessons and policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 240-247.
    24. Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Nichole Szembrot, 2014. "Beyond Happiness and Satisfaction: Toward Well-Being Indices Based on Stated Preference," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2698-2735, September.
    25. Nikos Askitas & Klaus Zimmermann, 2009. "Googlemetrie und Arbeitsmarkt," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 89(7), pages 489-496, July.
    26. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Money Does Matter! Evidence from Increasing Real Income and Life Satisfaction in East Germany Following Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
    27. Brian C. Murray & Maureen L. Cropper & Francisco C. de la Chesnaye & John M. Reilly, 2014. "How Effective Are US Renewable Energy Subsidies in Cutting Greenhouse Gases?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 569-574, May.
    28. Robert S. Pindyck, 2013. "The Climate Policy Dilemma," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(2), pages 219-237, July.
    29. Joseph Cullen, 2013. "Measuring the Environmental Benefits of Wind-Generated Electricity," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 107-133, November.
    30. Luechinger, Simon & Raschky, Paul A., 2009. "Valuing flood disasters using the life satisfaction approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 620-633, April.
    31. Ockwell, David G., 2008. "Energy and economic growth: Grounding our understanding in physical reality," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4600-4604, December.
    32. Olivier Deschênes & Michael Greenstone, 2007. "The Economic Impacts of Climate Change: Evidence from Agricultural Output and Random Fluctuations in Weather," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 354-385, March.
    33. Leo Wangler, 2012. "The political economy of the green technology sector: A study about institutions, diffusion and efficiency," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 51-81, February.
    34. Ann L. Owen & Emily Conover & Julio Videras & Stephen Wu, 2012. "Heat Waves, Droughts, and Preferences for Environmental Policy," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(3), pages 556-577, June.
    35. Fumio Ohtake & Katsunori Yamada, 2013. "Appraising the Unhappiness due to the Great East Japan Earthquake: Evidence from Weekly Panel Data on Subjective Well-being," ISER Discussion Paper 0876, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    36. Eva M. Berger, 2010. "The Chernobyl Disaster, Concern about the Environment, and Life Satisfaction," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 1-8, February.
    37. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
    38. Urban, Jan & Ščasný, Milan, 2012. "Exploring domestic energy-saving: The role of environmental concern and background variables," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 69-80.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Clarke, Damian & Mühlrad, Hanna, 2016. "The Impact of Abortion Legalization on Fertility and Maternal Mortality: New Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers in Economics 661, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Yu Aoki & Lualhati Santiago, 2015. "Fertility, Health and Education of UK Immigrants: The Role of English Language Skills," CINCH Working Paper Series 1510, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health, revised Aug 2015.
    3. Huhtala, Anni & Remes, Piia, 2017. "Quantifying the social costs of nuclear energy: Perceived risk of accident at nuclear power plants," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 320-331.
    4. Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin & Alhusen, Harm, 2019. "On the determinants of pro-environmental behavior: A literature review and guide for the empirical economist," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 350, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    5. Huhtala, Anni & Remes, Piia, 2016. "Dimming Hopes for Nuclear Power: Quantifying the Social Costs of Perceptions of Risks," Working Papers 57, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Binder, Martin & Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin, 2016. "Environmental concerns, volunteering and subjective well-being: Antecedents and outcomes of environmental activism in Germany," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-16.
    7. Elizabeth Lemmon, 2018. "Utilisation of personal care services in Scotland: the influence of unpaid carers," CINCH Working Paper Series 1802, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health.
    8. Carbone, Jared C. & Kverndokk, Snorre, 2014. "Individual investments in education and health," HERO Online Working Paper Series 2014:1, University of Oslo, Health Economics Research Programme.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fukushima; meltdown; well-being; environmental concerns; SOEP;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:duh:wpaper:1405. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Benjamin Karas). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cinchde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.