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The impact of climate on life satisfaction

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  • Maddison, David
  • Rehdanz, Katrin

Abstract

We analyse the influence of climate on average life satisfaction in 87 countries using data from the World Values Survey. Climate is described in terms of 'degree-months' calculated using an optimally-selected base temperature of 65°F (18.3°C). Our results suggest that countries with climates characterised by a large number of degree-months enjoy significantly lower levels of life satisfaction. This finding is robust to a wide variety of model specifications. Using our results to analyse a particular climate change scenario associated with the IPCC A2 emissions scenario points to major losses for African countries, but modest gains for Northern Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Maddison, David & Rehdanz, Katrin, 2010. "The impact of climate on life satisfaction," Kiel Working Papers 1658, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:1658
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate; climate change; happiness; life satisfaction; survey data;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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