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The Long-Term Effects of the Chernobyl Catastrophe on Subjective Well-Being and Mental Health

Author

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  • Danzer, Alexander M.

    () (Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)

  • Danzer, Natalia

    () (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Abstract

This paper assesses the long-term subjective well-being and mental health toll of the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 in the general Ukrainian population and estimates the monetary differential necessary to compensate victims of the catastrophe. The analysis is based on two nationally representative Ukrainian data sets and reveals that even 20 years after the accident subjective well-being is negatively associated with self-reported assessments of having been affected by the catastrophe. The causal long-term effect of the disaster on life satisfaction is established by exploiting variation in official radiation data which are linked to survey respondents through information on their place of living in 1986. We find higher depression and trauma rates as well as poorer subjective life expectancy among those stronger affected by Chernobyl. Expressed in monetary terms, the estimated amount of income required to compensate for the experienced utility loss amounts to an annual cost of seven percent of Ukraine's GDP.

Suggested Citation

  • 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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5906
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    Cited by:

    1. Selezneva, Ekaterina, 2011. "Surveying transitional experience and subjective well-being: Income, work, family," Economic Systems, Elsevier, pages 139-157.
    2. Yamamura, Eiji, 2013. "Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the body mass index of students in Japan," MPRA Paper 43920, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. H. Lehmann & J. Wadsworth, 2009. "The Impact of Chernobyl on Health and Labour Market Performance in the Ukraine," Working Papers 679, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    4. Parlow, Anton, 2012. "Armed conflict and children's health - exploring new directions: The case of Kashmir," MPRA Paper 38033, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Felix Richter & Malte Steenbeck & Markus Wilhelm, 2013. "Nuclear Accidents and Policy: Notes on Public Perception," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 590, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Jan Goebel & Christian Krekel & Tim Tiefenbach & Nicolas Ziebarth, 2015. "How natural disasters can affect environmental concerns, risk aversion, and even politics: evidence from Fukushima and three European countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 1137-1180, October.
    7. Anton Parlow, 2012. "Armed Conflict and Children’s Health – Exploring new directions: The case of Kashmir," HiCN Working Papers 119, Households in Conflict Network.
    8. repec:eee:japwor:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Effect of free media on views regarding the safety of nuclear energy after the 2011 disasters in Japan: evidence using cross-country data," MPRA Paper 32011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Goebel, Jan & Krekel, Christian & Tiefenbach, Tim & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2013. "Natural Disaster, Policy Action, and Mental Well-Being: The Case of Fukushima," IZA Discussion Papers 7691, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Yamamura, Eiji, 2015. "Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on obesity of children in Japan, using data from 2008 to 2014," MPRA Paper 67076, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. 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.
    13. Ishise, Hirokazu, 2016. "Capital heterogeneity as a source of comparative advantage: Putty-clay technology in a ricardian model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 223-236.
    14. Okuyama, Naoko, 2017. "The value of public service broadcasting in Japan: The life satisfaction approach," 14th ITS Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, Kyoto 2017: Mapping ICT into Transformation for the Next Information Society 168530, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    15. Eiji Yamamura, 2012. "Effect of Free Media on Views Regarding Nuclear Energy after the Fukushima Accident," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 132-141, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    instrumental variable; Chernobyl catastrophe; subjective well-being; mental health;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • 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
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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