Using Happiness Data for Environmental Valuation: Issues and Applications

22 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2009

See all articles by Heinz Welsch

Heinz Welsch

University of Oldenburg; ZenTra - Center for Transnational Studies

Jan Kühling

University of Oldenburg; ZenTra - Center for Transnational Studies

Abstract

In addition to standard methods of environmental valuation, a novel approach has recently emerged which models individuals' self-rated happiness as a function of their incomes and the prevailing environmental conditions. The estimated relationship is used to calculate the trade-off people would be willing to make between income and environmental conditions, i.e. the increase in income necessary to compensate individuals for any given decline in environmental quality. While the basic idea is simple, the theoretical and empirical details may be complex, and they may vary from application to application. This paper discusses the relevant conceptual and methodological issues and reviews applications to air and water pollution, noise nuisance, climate parameters, and natural hazards.

Suggested Citation

Welsch, Heinz and Kühling, Jan, Using Happiness Data for Environmental Valuation: Issues and Applications. Journal of Economic Surveys, Vol. 23, Issue 2, pp. 385-406, April 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1378299 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6419.2008.00566.x

Heinz Welsch (Contact Author)

University of Oldenburg ( email )

Ammerländer Heerstraße 114-118
Oldenburg, D-26111
Germany

ZenTra - Center for Transnational Studies ( email )

Ammerländer Heerstraße 138
Oldenburg, 26131
Germany

Jan Kühling

University of Oldenburg

Ammerländer Heerstraße 114-118
Oldenburg, D-26111
Germany

ZenTra - Center for Transnational Studies ( email )

Ammerländer Heerstraße 138
Oldenburg, 26131
Germany

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