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Environmental Awareness and Happiness

Author

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  • Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell

    () (Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies & Faculty of Economics and Econometrics (SCHOLAR), University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • John M. Gowdy

    () (Department of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY 12180-3590, USA)

Abstract

The focus of this paper is on the relationship between an individual's environmental attitudes (or awareness) and well-being. We use an ordered probit model to examine the relationship between individual measures of subjective well-being and environmental attitudes regarding ozone pollution and species extinction. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey we find a negative correlation between well-being and concern about ozone pollution and a positive correlation between well-being and concern about species extinction. These relationships hold when explanatory variables are included indicating whether or not the person lives in a polluted environment and whether or not the person engages in outdoor leisure activities. These relationships also hold when we control for individual psychological traits. Our results are an important step in clarifying some of the subtleties of the relationship between environmental quality and well-being. This research area is important in addressing the related issues of sustainability and environmental policy design.

Suggested Citation

  • Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & John M. Gowdy, 2005. "Environmental Awareness and Happiness," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0503, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:rpi:rpiwpe:0503
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    File URL: http://www.economics.rpi.edu/workingpapers/rpi0503.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-659, May.
    2. van Praag, B. M. S. & Frijters, P. & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A., 2003. "The anatomy of subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 29-49, May.
    3. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Money Does Matter! Evidence from Increasing Real Income and Life Satisfaction in East Germany Following Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
    4. Antonio Rangel, 2003. "Forward and Backward Intergenerational Goods: Why Is Social Security Good for the Environment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 813-834, June.
    5. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-484, July.
    6. 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, July.
    7. Welsch, Heinz, 2002. "Preferences over Prosperity and Pollution: Environmental Valuation Based on Happiness Surveys," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 473-494.
    8. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juncal Cuñado & Fernando Pérez de Gracia, 2010. "Education and happiness in Spain," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 5,in: María Jesús Mancebón-Torrubia & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & José María Gómez-Sancho & Gregorio Gim (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 10, pages 206-222 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    2. BARTOLINI Stefano & SARRACINO Francesco, 2011. "Happy for How Long? How Social Capital and GDP relate to Happiness over Time," LISER Working Paper Series 2011-60, LISER.

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