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

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  • Weinhold, Diana

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Weinhold, Diana, 2008. "How big a problem is noise pollution? A brief happiness analysis by a perturbable economist," MPRA Paper 9885, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:9885
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/10660/2/MPRA_paper_10660.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
    2. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 1-102.
    3. Richard Carson & Nicholas Flores & Norman Meade, 2001. "Contingent Valuation: Controversies and Evidence," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(2), pages 173-210, June.
    4. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, "undated". "Valuing Public Goods: The Life Satisfaction Approach," IEW - Working Papers 184, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    5. Layard, R. & Mayraz, G. & Nickell, S., 2008. "The marginal utility of income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1846-1857, August.
    6. 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, January.
    7. 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 217-251, June.
    8. 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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    10. 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.
    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    happiness; hedonic regression; noise pollution;

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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