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The Relationship between Well-Being and Wildfire

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Pamela Kaval, 2006. "The Relationship between Well-Being and Wildfire," Working Papers in Economics 06/14, University of Waikato.
  • Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:06/14
    Note: Forthcoming "International Journal of Ecological Economics and Statistics"
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    2. 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.
    3. Morawetz, David, 1977. "Income Distribution and Self-Rated Happiness: Some Empirical Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(347), pages 511-522, September.
    4. Yew-Kwang Ng, 2003. "From preference to happiness: Towards a more complete welfare economics," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 20(2), pages 307-350, March.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1997. "A Case for Happiness, Cardinalism, and Interpersonal Comparability," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1848-1858, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pamela Kaval, 2007. "The Link between Perceived and Actual Wildfire Danger: An Economic and Spatial Analysis Study in Colorado (USA)," Working Papers in Economics 07/13, University of Waikato.
    2. Kaval, Pamela, 2008. "Is There a Link Between Actual and Perceived Wildfire Danger?," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 37090, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    3. Stetler, Kyle M. & Venn, Tyron J. & Calkin, David E., 2010. "The effects of wildfire and environmental amenities on property values in northwest Montana, USA," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2233-2243, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    well-being evaluation method; Colorado; happiness; wildland urban interface; wildfire intensity;

    JEL classification:

    • I39 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Other
    • Q27 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Issues in International Trade
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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