IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Environment, Well-Being, and Experienced Preference

  • Heinz Welsch


    (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics)

  • Susana Ferreira


    (University of Georiga)

Recent years have seen a sharp increase in the use of subjective well-being data in environmental economics. This article discusses the conceptual underpinnings of using such data as a tool for preference elicitation and non-market valuation. Given the connection of those data to the notion of experienced utility, we refer to this approach as the experienced preference method and discuss recent methodological advances and applications of the approach to subject areas not previously reviewed. In addition, we discuss insights concerning environmental behavior that can be gained with the help of subjective well-being data.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: First version, 2014
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number V-367-14.

in new window

Date of creation: May 2014
Date of revision: May 2014
Publication status: Published in Oldenburg Working Papers V-367-14
Handle: RePEc:old:dpaper:367
Contact details of provider: Postal: 26111 Oldenburg
Phone: +49 441 798-4107
Fax: +49 441 798-4116
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Simon Luechinger, 2009. "Valuing Air Quality Using the Life Satisfaction Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 482-515, 03.
  2. Menz, Tobias, 2011. "Do people habituate to air pollution? Evidence from international life satisfaction data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 211-219.
  3. Daniel Kahneman & Robert Sugden, 2005. "Experienced Utility as a Standard of Policy Evaluation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 161-181, 09.
  4. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2007. "Calculating Tragedy: Assessing The Costs Of Terrorism," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 1-24, 02.
  5. 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.
  6. Richard Layard, 2006. "Happiness and Public Policy: a Challenge to the Profession," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C24-C33, 03.
  7. George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," General Economics and Teaching 0012003, EconWPA.
  8. Tobias Menz & Heinz Welsch, 2012. "Life-Cycle and Cohort Effects in the Valuation of Air Quality: Evidence from Subjective Well-being Data," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(2), pages 300-325.
  9. Jan Goebel & Christian Krekel & Tim Tiefenbach & Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2013. "Natural Disaster, Policy Action, and Mental Well-Being: The Case of Fukushima," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 599, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  10. Luechinger, Simon, 2010. "Life satisfaction and transboundary air pollution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 4-6, April.
  11. Kopmann, Angela & Rehdanz, Katrin, 2013. "A human well-being approach for assessing the value of natural land areas," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 20-33.
  12. 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.
  13. Bernard M. S. van Praag & Barbara E. Baarsma, 2005. "Using Happiness Surveys to Value Intangibles: The Case of Airport Noise," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 224-246, 01.
  14. 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.
  15. Heinz Welsch & Philipp Biermann, 2013. "Electricity Supply Preferences in Europe: Evidence from Subjective Well-Being Data," Working Papers V-359-13, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2013.
  16. Russell Smyth & Ingrid Nielsen & Qingguo Zhai & Tiemin Liu & Yin Liu & C.Y. Tang & Zhihong Wang & Zuxiang Wang & Juyong Zhang, 2008. "Environmental Surroundings And Personal Well-Being In Urban China," Monash Economics Working Papers 32/08, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  17. 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.
  18. Frey, Bruno S. & Luechinger, Simon & Stutzer, Alois, 2009. "The Life Satisfaction Approach to Environmental Valuation," IZA Discussion Papers 4478, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. 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.
  20. Katrin Rehdanz & Heinz Welsch & Daiju Narita & Toshihiro Okubo, 2013. "Well-being effects of a major negative externality: The case of Fukushima," Kiel Working Papers 1855, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  21. MacKerron, George & Mourato, Susana, 2009. "Life satisfaction and air quality in London," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1441-1453, March.
  22. Menz, Tobias & Welsch, Heinz, 2010. "Population aging and environmental preferences in OECD countries: The case of air pollution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2582-2589, October.
  23. 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.
  24. Richard Layard, 2006. "Happiness and public policy: a challenge to the profession," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 47483, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  25. Susana Ferreira & Mirko Moro, 2013. "Income and preferences for the environment: evidence from subjective well-being data," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 45(3), pages 650-667, March.
  26. Welsch, Heinz, 2007. "Environmental welfare analysis: A life satisfaction approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 544-551, May.
  27. Katrin Rehdanz & David J. Maddison, 2003. "Climate and Happiness," Working Papers FNU-20, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2003.
  28. Moro, Mirko & Brereton, Finbarr & Ferreira, Susana & Clinch, J. Peter, 2008. "Ranking quality of life using subjective well-being data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 448-460, April.
  29. Welsch, Heinz, 2006. "Environment and happiness: Valuation of air pollution using life satisfaction data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 801-813, July.
  30. V. Kerry Smith, 2008. "Reflections on the Literature," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 130-145, Winter.
  31. Welsch, Heinz, 2002. "Preferences over Prosperity and Pollution: Environmental Valuation Based on Happiness Surveys," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 473-94.
  32. Diana Weinhold, 2013. "The Happiness-Reducing Costs Of Noise Pollution," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 292-303, 05.
  33. David Maddison & Katrin Rehdanz, 2010. "The Impact of Climate on Life Satisfaction," Kiel Working Papers 1658, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  34. 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.
  35. Ferreira, Susana & Akay, Alpaslan & Brereton, Finbarr & Cuñado, Juncal & Martinsson, Peter & Moro, Mirko & Ningal, Tine F., 2013. "Life satisfaction and air quality in Europe," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 1-10.
  36. George MacKerron, 2012. "Happiness Economics From 35 000 Feet," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 705-735, 09.
  37. Oswald, Andrew J. & Wu, Stephen, 2010. "Objective Confirmation of Subjective Measures of Human Well-being: Evidence from the USA," IZA Discussion Papers 4695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  38. Néstor Gandelman & Giorgina Piani & Zuleika Ferre, 2012. "Neighborhood Determinants of Quality of Life," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 547-563, June.
  39. Smyth, Russell & Mishra, Vinod & Qian, Xiaolei, 2008. "The Environment and Well-Being in Urban China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 547-555, December.
  40. Nicolai V. Kuminoff & V. Kerry Smith & Christopher Timmins, 2013. "The New Economics of Equilibrium Sorting and Policy Evaluation Using Housing Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1007-62, December.
  41. Loewenstein, George & Adler, Daniel, 1995. "A Bias in the Prediction of Tastes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(431), pages 929-37, July.
  42. Johansson,Per-Olov, 1987. "The Economic Theory and Measurement of Environmental Benefits," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521348102, October.
  43. Thomas Murray & David Maddison & Katrin Rehdanz, 2013. "Do Geographical Variations In Climate Influence Life-Satisfaction?," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 4(01), pages 1350004-1-1.
  44. Welsch, Heinz & Kühling, Jan, 2010. "Pro-environmental behavior and rational consumer choice: Evidence from surveys of life satisfaction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 405-420, June.
  45. Heinz Welsch & Jan Kühling, 2009. "Using Happiness Data For Environmental Valuation: Issues And Applications," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 385-406, 04.
  46. Jerry Hausman, 2012. "Contingent Valuation: From Dubious to Hopeless," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 43-56, Fall.
  47. Li, Zhengtao & Folmer, Henk & Xue, Jianhong, 2014. "To what extent does air pollution affect happiness? The case of the Jinchuan mining area, China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 88-99.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:old:dpaper:367. 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: (Catharina Schramm)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.