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A general method for valuing non-market goods using wellbeing data: three-stage wellbeing valuation

  • Daniel Fujiwara
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    Subjective wellbeing data is becoming increasingly popular in economics research. The wellbeing valuation approach uses wellbeing data instead of data gleaned from preferences to attach monetary values to non-market goods. This method could be an important alternative to preference-based valuation methods such as contingent valuation, but there are a number of significant technical deficiencies with the current methodology. It is argued that the current method derives biased estimates of the value of non-market goods. The paper presents Three-Stage Wellbeing Valuation, a new approach to valuation using subjective wellbeing data that solves for the main technical problems and as a result derives estimates of welfare change and value that are consistent with welfare economic theory. As an example, I derive robust values associated with unemployment using the new approach and compare these to biased values derived from the standard wellbeing valuation method. Values derived from Three-Stage Wellbeing Valuation can be used in cost-benefit analysis.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/51577/
    File Function: Open access version.
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    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 51577.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:51577
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    Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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    1. Layard, R. & Mayraz, G. & Nickell, S., 2008. "The marginal utility of income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1846-1857, August.
    2. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2010. "How much does money really matter? Estimating the causal effects of income on happiness," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 77-92, August.
    3. Levinson, Arik, 2012. "Valuing public goods using happiness data: The case of air quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 869-880.
    4. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
    5. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
    6. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J., 2006. "Money and Mental Wellbeing: A Longitudinal Study of Medium-Sized Lottery Wins," IZA Discussion Papers 2233, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. KNIGHT, John & SONG, Lina & GUNATILAKA, Ramani, 2009. "Subjective well-being and its determinants in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 635-649, December.
    9. 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.
    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. Paul Dolan & Robert Metcalfe, 2008. "Comparing Willingness-to-Pay and Subjective Well-Being in the Context of Non-Market Goods," CEP Discussion Papers dp0890, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    12. Bernard van den Berg & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2007. "Monetary valuation of informal care: the well-being valuation method," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(11), pages 1227-1244.
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