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The effect of air quality on welfare accounting

Author

Listed:
  • Almut Balleer

    (RWTH Aachen University, School of Business and Economics)

  • Morten Endrikat

    (RWTH Aachen University, School of Business and Economics)

Abstract

For several decades, there has been a discussion in economics on how to appropriately measure economic welfare. Although it is common perception that a simple GDP evaluation bears several shortcomings, GDP per capita is still the most prominent measure of countries’ welfare and of its development over time. In a recent paper, Jones and Klenow (2016) extend the huge existing literature on alternative welfare measures by a concept that is based on a utility framework and that incorporates, besides consumption, also life expectancy, inequality, and leisure. In this paper, we add a component of environmental quality, in particular air pollution, to this framework and show that for some country groups accounting for air quality remarkably changes their relative welfare position, both in terms of levels and growth rates over time. Especially for some emerging countries we find strong welfare reductions due to high levels of air pollution. Nevertheless, on average, our welfare measure is still highly correlated with GDP per capita. Our results highlight the importance of environmental aspects in welfare accounting.

Suggested Citation

  • Almut Balleer & Morten Endrikat, 2018. "The effect of air quality on welfare accounting," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201817, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201817
    as

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    File URL: https://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/paper_2018/17-2018_balleer.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Welfare; Economic Development; Air Pollution; Environmental Economics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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