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How big a problem is noise pollution? A brief happiness analysis by a perturbable economist

  • Weinhold, Diana

We approach the question of the costs of everyday residential noise pollution by examining a series of ‘happiness regressions.’ Following standard approaches, we use a range of socio-economic data to explain respondents’ declared level of life satisfaction, and then add perceived noise pollution into the analysis. In the process we replicate the observed patterns from other studies of this type. We find noise to exert a negative and highly significant effect on happiness, approximately of the same order of magnitude as being disabled. Using some rough and ready calculations, we find the monetary equivalent costs of noise pollution to be on the order of €170 per month per household.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 9885.

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Date of creation: 06 Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:9885
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  1. Carson, Richard T & Flores, Nicholas A, 2000. "Contingent Valuation: Controversies and Evidence," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt75k752s7, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  2. Mark Wardman & Abigail Bristow, 2008. "Valuations of aircraft noise: experiments in stated preference," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(4), pages 459-480, April.
  3. Richard Layard & Guy Mayraz & Stephen Nickell, 2007. "The Marginal Utility of Income," CEP Discussion Papers dp0784, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Andrew J. Oswald & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2008. "Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages S217-S251, 06.
  5. Bernard M.S. van Praag & Barbara E. Baarsma, 2004. "Using Happiness Surveys to Value Intangibles: The Case of Airport Noise," CESifo Working Paper Series 1163, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," CEPR Discussion Papers 6944, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Valuing Public Goods: The Life Satisfaction Approach," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-11, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  8. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Is Well-being U-Shaped over the Life Cycle?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 826, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  9. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
  10. Brett Day & Ian Bateman & Iain Lake, 2007. "Beyond implicit prices: recovering theoretically consistent and transferable values for noise avoidance from a hedonic property price model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 211-232, May.
  11. Jon P. Nelson, 2004. "Meta-Analysis of Airport Noise and Hedonic Property Values," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 38(1), pages 1-27, January.
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