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Measuring Nuclear Power Plant Externalities Using Life Satisfaction Data: A Spatial Analysis for Switzerland

Author

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  • Heinz Welsch

    (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics)

  • Philipp Biermann

    (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics)

Abstract

Conceptualizing externalities from perceived nuclear risk as being related to distance from nuclear facilities, we estimate the relationship between Swiss citizens’ life satisfaction (understood as a proxy of utility) and the distance of their place of residence from the nearest nuclear power plant. Controlling for a rich set of life satisfaction factors, we find a statistically and economically significant satisfaction-distance gradient, whose monetary value amounts to CHF 291 per kilometer of distance, on average. The gradient is smaller for those who may feel protected by wind direction and topographical conditions, and it differs by age, sex, and the level of education. The satisfaction-distance gradient has changed significantly after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan, indicating a reassessment of distance-dependent nuclear risk. We find no evidence of hedonic locational equilibrium with respect to nuclear risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinz Welsch & Philipp Biermann, 2015. "Measuring Nuclear Power Plant Externalities Using Life Satisfaction Data: A Spatial Analysis for Switzerland," Working Papers V-375-15, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:old:dpaper:375
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    Cited by:

    1. Zerrahn, Alexander, 2017. "Wind Power and Externalities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 245-260.
    2. Heinz Welsch, 2024. "Do National Well-Being Scores Capture NationsU+0027’ Ecological Resilience? Evidence for 124 Countries," Working Papers V-443-24, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2024.
    3. Welsch, Heinz, 2016. "Electricity Externalities, Siting, and the Energy Mix: A Survey," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 10(1), pages 57-94, November.
    4. Vargas, Andrés & Roldán, Paola, 2018. "Ni muy cerca ni muy lejos: parques urbanos y bienestar subjetivo en la ciudad de Barranquilla, Colombia," Revista Lecturas de Economía, Universidad de Antioquia, CIE, issue 88, pages 183-205, January.
    5. Heinz Welsch & Philipp Biermann, 2017. "Energy Affordability and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence for European Countries," The Energy Journal, , vol. 38(3), pages 159-176, May.
    6. Andrés Vargas & Paola Roldán, 2018. "Not too close, not too far: urban parks and subjective well-being in the city of Barranquilla, Colombia," Lecturas de Economía, Universidad de Antioquia, Departamento de Economía, issue 88, pages 183-205, Enero - J.
    7. Erica Delugas & Rinaldo Brau, 2021. "Evaluating the Impact of Energy Poverty in a Multidimensional Setting," The Energy Journal, , vol. 42(1), pages 39-66, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    nuclear risk; life satisfaction; non-market valuation; spatial equilibrium; Fukushima;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • R53 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Public Facility Location Analysis; Public Investment and Capital Stock

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