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The Relationship between Well-Being and Wildfire

In this study, the well-being evaluation method, a technique for measuring individual utility, was used to study how people in the wildland urban interface of Colorado (USA) felt about their lives before and after two hypothetical wildfire scenarios. Variables such as age, family size, fire frequency, and property value were found to affect initial well-being levels. However, if a wildfire were to occur, many variables that initially affected well-being were no longer significant. It was found that after wildfire, the frequency of wildfire occurrence became the most important influence on well-being. These results have several implications for wildfire managers. First, the well-being of Colorado wildland urban interface residents would be enhanced by a reduction in the frequency of high-intensity wildfires. Secondly, an extremely high percentage of respondents were in favor of prescribed burning. Therefore, the reduction of high-intensity fires could not only be accomplished by conducting a rotation of prescribed fires, but that prescribed burning would be accepted by the public living in the wildland urban interface.

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File URL: ftp://mngt.waikato.ac.nz/RePEc/wai/econwp/0614.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Waikato, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 06/14.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 15 Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:06/14
Note: Forthcoming "International Journal of Ecological Economics and Statistics"
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  1. 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.
  2. Gary Crow, 1997. "Estimating the Values of Cattle Characteristics Using an Ordered Probit Model," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 463-476.
  3. Morawetz, David, 1977. "Income Distribution and Self-Rated Happiness: Some Empirical Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(347), pages 511-22, September.
  4. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1997. "A Case for Happiness, Cardinalism, and Interpersonal Comparability," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1848-58, November.
  6. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  7. Yew-Kwang Ng, 2003. "From preference to happiness: Towards a more complete welfare economics," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 307-350, March.
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