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# Life Satisfaction and Air Quality in London

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## Abstract

A growing body of research in economics concerns self-reported happiness, or life satisfaction (LS), and its relationship to a wide range of other variables. The findings of this research tend to highlight the importance of non-income aspects of individuals' life conditions. These findings are strongly complementary to themes within the sustainable development discourse. Firstly, they suggest ways in which we might consume less without compromising on our current levels of LS. And secondly, they help demonstrate the immediate LS benefits that could be gained from higher levels of environmental quality (EQ). However, the empirical evidence for the link between EQ and LS is, to date, somewhat weak, due in part to a lack of EQ data at a level of detail to match the individual-by-individual resolution of LS measures. This small, exploratory study therefore seeks to assess how the use of EQ data at very high spatial resolution could advance the empirical literature examining connections between LS and EQ levels, focusing on air quality in particular. It collects original survey data for approximately 400 Londoners, and uses geographical information system (GIS) software to calculate pollutant concentrations in the immediate vicinity of their homes. It uses this data to estimate maximum likelihood regression models explaining LS ratings in terms of a range of individual, household and local variables. Both perceived and measured air pollution levels are significantly negatively associated with the LS of the survey respondents, even when controlling for a wide range of other effects. An increase of 10 μg/m3 in annual mean nitrogen dioxide concentration appears to correspond on average to a drop of nearly half a point of LS on an 11-point rating scale. These findings cannot yet be generalised with confidence. However, if they were confirmed by larger future studies, they would appear to strengthen and extend existing arguments in favour of policies to reduce urban air pollution, framed both in terms of conventional economic efficiency analyses, and in wider political and ethical (and potentially legal) terms.

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... Smyth et al. (2008) also highlight that SO 2 concentration has a significant and negative influence on subjective LS on the basis of pollution data of urban areas from 30 cities in China. It is also reported that NO 2 concentrations have a detrimental impact on LS (Ferreira et al., 2013;Mackerron & Mourato, 2009). Due to the highly toxic health effects of particulate matter (Kumar et al., 2020a(Kumar et al., , 2020b, the number of researches related to fine particle matter is increasing. ...
... LS used in this study has the same meaning with happiness, well-being, and quality of life. Many scholars hold that these terms are able to interchangeable (Mackerron & Mourato, 2009;Rehdanz & Maddison, 2005). The questionnaire was designed to contain five parts, twenty-one variables as follows: ...
... The average annual concentrations of SO 2 , PM 2.5 , and NO 2 are 40 μg/m 3 , 158.1 μg/m 3 and 53.07 μg/m 3 , respectively. All of these indices exceed the maximum average annual pollutant concentrations of WHO guideline (Mackerron & Mourato, 2009). ...
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Although the PM2.5 concept was put forward in 1997, it came into Chinese people's sight in 2011, and became a household name in 2013 in China. Previous studies did not involve this indicator, so we need to re-examine and compare the effects of objective air quality data and subjective perception on Life satisfaction (LS). The data were collected from Xi'an, a megacity of Northwest China. Particles smaller than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and Air quality index (AQI) acquired from air quality stations were used to calculate pollutant concentrations near the vicinity of subjects’ home by Geographical information system (GIS) software. In this paper, the ordinal logistic regression models are used to explain ratings of LS in terms of the objective air pollution data, social and economic variables. The results indicate that the objective air pollution data has significant and negative effects on LS of the surveyed respondents. However, when the subjective perception of air pollution is considered in the regression models, it shows that the subjective perception of air pollution has a significant negative impact on LS, while the effects of PM2.5, NO2, SO2, and AQI on the LS become insignificant. Furthermore, the research significances and policy suggestions are discussed in this paper. Graphic abstract
... The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 92% of the world's population was living in an area where air quality exceeds WHO limits (2), which stimulates research on how air pollution affects mental health. In this paper, types of mental health refer to happiness, depression and anxiety disorder that are most commonly used by researchers (3)(4)(5)(6). This research aims to examine the impact of air pollution on different types of mental health and the underlying economic and social factors and the mechanisms. ...
... Rehdanz and Maddison denoted that subjective air pollution and subjective noise pollution had a significant negative effect on German residents' well-being (6). Mackerron and Mourato proved that objective and subjective air pollution significantly reduced people's happiness by taking London residents' self-rated air pollution level of their street or community as a measure of subjective air pollution (5). ...
... This shows that physical health plays a mediating role in the impact of air pollution on depression. In addition, the direct effect of air pollution on (1), (2), (3) are the estimated results based on high-income sample group, Column (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9) are the estimated results based on low-income sample group. depression is 0.0008, which is significant at 1% significance level. ...
Article
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Many studies reveal that air pollution is related to mental health. However, the level of impact and the regulatory mechanism of air pollution on different types of mental health are unknown. This paper examines the heterogeneous impact and mediating mechanisms of air pollution on mental health based on data of 51 countries from 2010 to 2017 by using panel Tobit random effect model, mediating effect model, and bootstrap test. The findings show that, firstly, there is heterogeneous impact of air pollution on different types of mental health. Specifically, air pollution has a significant positive impact on depression; and the impacts on happiness and anxiety are closely related to income level. Secondly, the heterogeneous impact of air pollution on mental health is contingent on income levels. Thirdly, the heterogeneous impacts under different income levels are exacerbated by different levels of education and population density. Lastly, the mediating effect of physical health on different types of mental health is also heterogeneous. To be specific, the effects of air pollution on depression and anxiety are partly mediated by physical health; whereas the effect on happiness is not. These findings contribute to the understanding of air pollution on public health, and have significant implication for social and public health policy makers.
... In confronting the task of tackling serious air pollution and improving residents' self-rated happiness [4], it is vital to understand how air pollution affects self-rated happiness and to establish reliable estimates of residents' willingness to pay for pollution reduction [5,6]. Improved environmental quality could facilitate better life satisfaction through various channels, either it being by enhancing productivity or by reducing the chances of physical illness [7,8]. A large and growing body of literature has documented the effects of socio-demographics, including income, health, unemployment, education, 2 of 13 social communication, gender, marital status and religious attitudes, on self-rated happiness [5,[9][10][11]. ...
... For instance, Welsch and Ferreira explored the relationship between air pollution and self-rated happiness in 10 European countries and found that air pollution exerted a statistically significant impact on the difference in subjective well-being between countries at different times [14]. Besides the objectively measured air pollution, perceived air pollution (i.e., respondents' ratings on pollution levels) was also negatively associated with life satisfaction [7]. The study undertaken by Ambrey et al. confirmed the negative relationship between life satisfaction and PM 10 once the surrounding PM 10 concentration exceeded the health standards in the study area [15]. ...
... Subjective life satisfaction data have been rigorously employed to elicit environmental amenity values, such as air quality. However, economic value cannot be directly observed through market transactions [7,[22][23][24]. We refer to Ferreira and Moro and Welsch and Ferreira for a comprehensive discussion on the theoretical grounds of this approach [14,23]. ...
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Air pollution imposes detrimental impacts on residents’ health and the general quality of life. Quantifying the influential mechanism of air pollution on residents’ happiness and the economic value brought by environmental quality improvement could provide a scientific basis for the construction of livable cities. This study estimated urban residents’ willingness to pay for air pollution abatement by modeling the spatial relationship between air quality and self-rated happiness with a Bayesian multi-level ordinal categorical response model. Using large-scale geo-referenced survey data, collected in the Bohai Rim area of China (including 43 cities), we found that a standard deviation decrease in the number of polluted days over a year was associated with about a 15 percent increase in the odds of reporting a higher degree of happiness, after controlling for a wide range of individual- and city-scale covariate effects. On average, urban residents in the Bohai Rim region were willing to pay roughly 1.42 percent of their average monthly household income for mitigating marginal reductions in air pollution, although great spatial variability was also presented. Together, we hoped that these results could provide solid empirical evidence for China’s regional environmental policies aiming to promote individuals’ well-being.
... The AP-SWB relationship has recently emerged as the key research focus of the environmentally-oriented SWB studies, and several general trends can be now discerned. Firstly, studies using the national-and regional-level data (Brereton et al. 2008;Welsch and Kühling 2009;Luechinger 2010) are being replaced by more spatially disaggregated analyses that account for a heterogenous and localised distribution of AP (MacKerron and Mourato 2009;Orru et al. 2016;Zhang et al. 2017;Du et al. 2018;Laffan 2018). This entails matching AP exposure at the individual level, relying either on modelled grid estimates of mean AP levels (MacKerron and Mourato 2009;Orru et al. 2016), or on linking respondents' location to the nearest monitor station (Levinson 2012;Zhang et al. 2017;Barrington-Leigh and Behzadnejad 2017). ...
... Firstly, studies using the national-and regional-level data (Brereton et al. 2008;Welsch and Kühling 2009;Luechinger 2010) are being replaced by more spatially disaggregated analyses that account for a heterogenous and localised distribution of AP (MacKerron and Mourato 2009;Orru et al. 2016;Zhang et al. 2017;Du et al. 2018;Laffan 2018). This entails matching AP exposure at the individual level, relying either on modelled grid estimates of mean AP levels (MacKerron and Mourato 2009;Orru et al. 2016), or on linking respondents' location to the nearest monitor station (Levinson 2012;Zhang et al. 2017;Barrington-Leigh and Behzadnejad 2017). Secondly, the dominant approach of using the long-term exposure has been shown to induce endogeneity (Barrington-Leigh and Behzadnejad 2017) and habituation bias (Levinson 2012). ...
... Only a handful of studies approached this topic directly, and the results are mixed. MacKerron and Mourato (2009) found that individuals' perceptions of AP are positively correlated with objective AP; to avoid collinearity, they constructed separate models confirming that both these variables are significant predictors of wellbeing, but simultaneously failed to account for their interrelation. Liao et al. (2015) applied the instrumental variable approach and found that objective AP has only an indirect effect on SWB, mediated by perceived AP. ...
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The study aims to explore the interrelation of perceived air pollution and objective air pollution in the context of various subjective wellbeing (SWB) measures. An original survey data is used, and matched with exogenous levels of PM 2.5 pollution in one of Warsaw's city districts, to capture the short-term exposure and immediate SWB assessments. The log-linear analysis and the Two-Stage Conditional Maximum Likelihood estimations have found both the perceived and objective air pollution to have a negative effect on reported life satisfaction. Using the instrumental variable approach, the hypothesis of endogeneity of perceived pollution to SWB is rejected.
... Regarding the determinants of wellbeing, geographic contexts have received much attention recently and found to play an important role in explaining the spatial variations in SWB (Brereton et al., 2008;Dong et al., 2018;Kaplan, 2001;Mackerron and Mourato, 2009;Morrison, 2011;Wang and Wang, 2016). Geographic contexts are multi-dimensional, including the social environment and the built environment. ...
... With the rapid development of industrialization and urbanization, environmental pollution is a major problem worldwide and poses significant risks to public health and wellbeing. Some studies attempted to investigate the effects of environmental pollution on SWB, such as the effects of water pollution (Israel and Levinson, 2003), air pollution (MacKerron and Mourato, 2009;Welsch, 2006), and noise pollution (Van Praag and Baarsma, 2005), and these effects differ by specific pollutant types and study areas. Moreover, some research suggested that environmental pollution might influence SWB through two main pathways. ...
... Moreover, some research suggested that environmental pollution might influence SWB through two main pathways. The first pathway is affecting life satisfaction indirectly through influencing individual health (Helliwell and Putnam, 2004;Welsch, 2006), while the other is directly reducing individuals' SWB levels both cognitively and affectively through the awareness of pollution and its adverse health impacts (MacKerron and Mourato, 2009;Van Praag and Baarsma, 2005). However, possibly due to data constraints, most prior studies were conducted at a large scale (e.g., national or city scale), and environmental pollution data, such as air quality data, were mainly derived from fixed monitoring stations with low spatio-temporal resolution. ...
Article
Understanding how mobility-based real-time exposures to environmental pollution influence activity satisfaction has great potential for improving subjective wellbeing. Using real-time data from Global Positioning System trajectories and portable sensors collected in Beijing, this study investigates whether and how individual’s real-time and perceived exposures to air and noise pollution at a fine spatio-temporal resolution influence activity satisfaction while controlling for geographic contexts, activity characteristics, socio-demographic attributes, health and life circumstances. The results show that activity satisfaction and air and noise pollution vary greatly in various microenvironments. Perceived air and noise pollution are more significant covariates of activity satisfaction than objectively measured pollution, and air pollution has a greater effect than noise pollution on activity satisfaction. These findings indicate that more granular data should be collected to further examine the relationships among geographic microenvironment, personal exposure and wellbeing, and compact city design is of great potential for improving subjective wellbeing.
... This result is consistent with the findings of previous studies (e.g. Zhang et al., 2017;Orru et al., 2016;Ambrey et al., 2014;Ferreira et al., 2013;Levinson, 2012;MacKerron and Mourato, 2009;Welsch, 2006). As discussed in the introduction, PM concentrations have been shown to adversely affect health, which in turn is an important determinant of LS. ...
... This result is consistent with the findings of previous studies (e.g. Zhang et al., 2017;Orru et al., 2016;Ambrey et al., 2014;Ferreira et al., 2013;Levinson, 2012;MacKerron and Mourato, 2009;Welsch, 2006). Also, consistent with previous literature, wealthier and more educated people report a higher LS. ...
Article
The transition from a centrally planned socialist economy to free markets brought unprecedented economic growth to Mongolia, but also severe environmental problems associated with rapid urban development. Its capital city Ulaanbaatar has experienced extreme air pollution during the winter months for almost two decades. While the impacts of local air pollution on cardiovascular and respiratory health in Ulaanbaatar are well documented, this is the first study to evaluate the relationship between particulate matter concentrations and the subjective well-being of its residents. We match newly available survey data on subjective well-being in Ulaanbaatar with particulate matter readings and weather data and estimate a significant relationship between air pollution and self-reported life satisfaction. The estimated coefficients imply a potentially large willingness-to-pay for better air quality.
... It can be found that population density is the most important factor by two different measures. erefore, we can assume that population density has the greatest influence on urban environmental evaluation [19]. Since the two measures are only important references, the first four factors are selected from the two groups of species, and a total of eight factors (including coincidence) are selected as the most important elements which will be used as the basis for further CTREE analysis. ...
... However, lower socioeconomic groups are at increased risk of mortality and morbidity after exposure to environmental pollution. George [19] also found a higher susceptibility to environmental pollution in the least-educated population, as well as higher risk factors that affect health when exposed to air pollution. At the same time, because of the realistic environmental pressure caused by economic, unemployment, and even security problems faced by undereducated people, attention to environmental protection issues is reduced, so it is easier to give better environmental evaluation [24]. ...
Article
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Environmental quality assessment is an important way to promote the improvement of urban environmental quality. Environmental performance is usually used to evaluate the improvement of environmental quality, and residents’ satisfaction with environmental quality is also an important method to evaluate environmental improvement. At present, in many cities in China, the results of the two evaluation methods vary greatly. Residents’ environmental satisfaction is not high in some cities with good environmental performance; however, in cities with poor environmental performance, residents’ environmental satisfaction is higher. Here, based on the environmental subjective assessment of more than 4,600 independent samples from 56 cities in 2014, this paper constructed an index between subjective and objective scores for each sample and its city, separating the total samples into two groups. In order to analyze the differences between groups, firstly, the important factors driving the differences were extracted by random forest. Secondly, the key individual characteristics were identified by the model based on conditional inference tree. Finally, the regional heterogeneity was analyzed by nonmetric multidimensional scaling. The results show that population density is the main factor that affects the difference between subjective and objective evaluations. Furthermore, in those cities with low population density, investment increasing in transportation infrastructure helps to improve urban air quality, which can bring about more perceptual environmental optimization to people. As individuals, education is the key factor for residents when it comes to environment evaluation, but it is not a simple linear relationship. In terms of regional heterogeneity, the consistency of important factors among regions is not obvious, and the situation that “neighboring” cities share the same factors is not significant.
... A prominent topic of research remains the relation between income and life satisfaction (Easterlin & Angelescu, 2009;Kahneman & Deaton, 2010;Sacks, Stevenson, & Wolfers, 2012) although other factors, for example environmental quality (e.g. MacKerron & Mourato, 2009;Silva, Johnstone, & de Keulenaer, 2012), are addressed as well. ...
... Also, despite the fact that air quality is relatively difficult to observe directly, as only extreme cases (e.g. smog) are noticeable for an individual, there is some evidence suggesting that it affects subjective well-being (MacKerron & Mourato, 2009). Air quality is usually measured either by the degree of pollution in the air (for instance in terms of particulate matter) or in terms of the pollution created within a given region or country. ...
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In discussions of the concept of well-being as an alternative measure of development and welfare, it is considered a multidimensional notion. However, for simplicity, the dimensions of well-being are often modelled as substitutes. This research analyses the effects of relaxing the assumption of substitutability to account for possible complementarity. In particular, if well-being dimensions are complementary, a more balanced distribution across the dimensions is preferable to an unbalanced one. This claim is justified theoretically and tested using a panel dataset of 22 European countries. The results show that an unbalanced distribution of well-being is correlated with lower life satisfaction. The effect of accounting for complementarities in well-being comparisons is analysed using the OECD TL2 regions. This example illustrates that assuming either substitutability or com-plementarity profoundly affects the outcome of cross-sectional well-being analysis and should therefore be considered when aiming to use well-being to guide policy.
... There are some scholars analyzing the impacts of subjective air pollution perception on happiness (also known as "subjective well-being" or "life satisfaction") from different aspects (Song et al. 2019b). Most studies report that residents' subjective perception of air pollution significantly reduces their happiness (Mackerron and Mourato 2009;Weinhold 2013;Liao et al. 2015). MacKerron and Mourato (2009) put forward that objective air pollution, as well as subjective air pollution, significantly reduces residents' happiness. ...
... Most studies report that residents' subjective perception of air pollution significantly reduces their happiness (Mackerron and Mourato 2009;Weinhold 2013;Liao et al. 2015). MacKerron and Mourato (2009) put forward that objective air pollution, as well as subjective air pollution, significantly reduces residents' happiness. By comparing the regression results of subjective and objective air pollution, they conclude that subjective air pollution has more serious effects on happiness. ...
Article
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Previous papers that study the relationship between air pollution and happiness have not paid much attention to subjective air pollution. This paper attempts to explore the influence of subjective air pollution on happiness, the heterogeneity of the effects, and people’s subjective willingness for improving air quality. We match the data of Chinese General Social Survey with local air quality and mainly based on the method of regression discontinuity. Our study shows that the public’s subjective air pollution perception has significant negative effects on their happiness. The negative effects on happiness of unhealthy people and middle-aged/old people are greater than that of healthy people and young people. Moreover, residents who are relatively vulnerable to the harm of air pollution appear to be more willing to pay for the improvement of air quality. These results indicate that in order to improve air quality more rationally and effectively, not only should the government concentrate on the improvement of objective air quality but also pay attention to the public’s subjective feelings, as well as taking the subjective needs of local residents into consideration in the process of air pollution control.
... To identify the association between senior people's SRH and the availability of green and blue spaces, we used multiple multivariate regression in the form of ordinary least squares (OLS) regression. The OLS model is easier to interpret than the ordered probit model [67][68][69]. In equation (1), we regressed the SRH ( ) of each respondent ( ) as the dependent variable on green ( ) and blue ( ) space-related indicators-coverage ...
... To identify the association between senior people's SRH and the availability of green and blue spaces, we used multiple multivariate regression in the form of ordinary least squares (OLS) regression. The OLS model is easier to interpret than the ordered probit model [67][68][69]. In equation (1), we regressed the SRH (Y) of each respondent (i) as the dependent variable on green (Green i ) and blue (Blue i ) space-related indicators-coverage ratio of green/blue space areas and closest distance to different types of green/blue spacesas independent variables while adjusting for other individual covariates (I ND). ...
Article
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Many empirical studies have shown evidence of multiple health benefits provided by green and blue spaces. Despite the importance of these spaces, investigations are scarce in details for blue spaces rather than green. Moreover, most research has focused on developed regions. A limited number of studies on blue spaces can be found in China with a focus on the city level. Outcomes have been mixed due to varying research scales, methodologies, and definitions. This study relies on a national-level social survey to explore how the self-rated health (SRH) of senior individuals is associated with local green and blue space availability in urban and rural areas. Results indicate that the coverage ratio of overall green spaces and waterbodies around a resident’s home have marginal effects on SRH status in both urban and rural areas. In urban areas, living close to a park can is marginally beneficial for older people’s health. Regarding different types of blue spaces, the presence of a major river (within 0.3–0.5 km) or coastline (within 1 km and 1–5 km) in the vicinity of home negatively affects SRH among the elderly in urban areas. Close proximity to lakes and other types of waterbodies with a water surface larger than 6.25 ha did not significantly influence SRH. These findings not only evaluate general health impacts of green/blue space development on senior populations across the county but inform decision makers concerning the health-promoting qualities and features of different green/blue spaces to better accommodate an aging population in the era of urbanization.
... It is known that people feel less happy in areas with higher levels of nitrogen dioxide NO2 (MacKerron and Mourato, 2009). What else might air pollution do to human wellbeing? ...
Article
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2 Abstract It is known that people feel less happy in areas with higher levels of nitrogen dioxide NO2 (MacKerron and Mourato, 2009). What else might air pollution do to human wellbeing? This paper uses data on a standardized word-recall test that was done in the year 2011 by 34,000 randomly sampled English citizens across 318 geographical areas. We find that human memory is worse in areas where NO2 and PM10 levels are greater. The paper provides both (i) OLS results and (ii) instrumental-variable estimates that exploit the direction of the prevailing westerly wind and levels of population density. Although caution is always advisable on causal interpretation, these results are concerning and are consistent with laboratory studies of rats and other non-human animals. Our estimates suggest that the difference in memory quality between England’s cleanest and most-polluted areas is equivalent to the loss of memory from 10 extra years of ageing.
... Generally speaking, human settlements consist of two characteristics: the objective characteristics of human settlements and the subjective characteristics of human settlements. A high-quality urban human settlement can improve residents' life satisfaction to a certain extent [52,53]. Residents' subjective perceptions of urban human settlements also have an indirect effect on life satisfaction. ...
Article
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Under the guidance of people-oriented development concepts, improving residents’ life satisfaction has gradually become the goal of urban governance. Based on Chinese household tracking survey data and national socio-economic statistics, this study used the entropy method, multi-layer linear regression model and geographically weighted regression model and discusses the spatial heterogeneity of the impact of objective environmental characteristics and subjective perceived characteristics of urban residential environments on residents’ life satisfaction. It is of great importance to study the mechanisms through which subjective and objective characteristics of urban human settlements influence living satisfaction among residents. It is also important to discuss how to improve living satisfaction levels through the urban human settlements and to realize high-quality urban development. The research results show that in 2018, the overall level of life satisfaction among Chinese urban residents was relatively high. However, it is still necessary to continue to optimize the urban human settlements to improve residents’ life satisfaction. The objective characteristics of the urban human settlements, such as natural environmental comfort and environmental health, have a significant positive impact on residents’ life satisfaction. Residents’ subjective perceptions of government integrity, environmental protection, wealth gap, social security, medical conditions and medical level, as well as residents’ individual gender, age and health status also have a significant impact on residents’ life satisfaction. The direction and intensity of effects of different elements of the urban human settlements and residents’ personal attributes on urban residents’ life satisfaction have different characteristics in different regions.
... This tendency was further confirmed when the majority (54.5%, n=12) among the 22 respondents (19.3%) that rated the air quality as average, indicated that they perceived that the industries do have a negative impact on their health. Social status Perceptions are also influenced by the environment, availability of information and socio-economic characteristics (MacKerron et al., 2009). Previous studies indicated that the more wealthy communities have the perception that air quality imposes a bigger threat to the less fortunate communities (Bickerstaff, 2004). ...
... The literature confirms that commuting not only affects life satisfaction directly, but also associates with life satisfaction through other pathways, such as satisfaction with travel and activity (De Vos, 2019;De Vos et al., 2016;Sun et al., 2020). Meanwhile, air pollution may moderate the relationship between commuting behavior and life satisfaction because air pollution tends to have negative effects on active travelers' health outcomes and deteriorates their travel experiences (MacKerron and Mourato, 2009;Zhao et al., 2018). ...
Article
The effects of air pollution and commuting behavior on life satisfaction have received increasing research interests. However, the literature pays scant attention to haze pollution and its moder- ating effects on the relationship between commuting behavior and life satisfaction. Using two- round of cross-sectional survey data across 92 Chinese cities, this paper analyzes the impacts of haze pollution and commuting behavior on life satisfaction, and the moderating effects of haze pollution on the link between commuting behavior and life satisfaction. The findings suggest that haze pollution and its changes are important triggers of life satisfaction. Moreover, the effects of changes in haze pollution correlate with basic haze pollution levels. Active commuters report higher life satisfaction, while transit commuters report lower life satisfaction. Longer commutes cause losses in life satisfaction. Additionally, haze pollution mitigates the losses in life satisfaction for commuters using public transit, but strengthens the negative effect of commuting time. 1.
... They find persistent effects of both predictors. Similar effects of perceived and measured air pollution levels on life satisfaction were found for London (MacKerron and Mourato, 2009). Also in the UK, Knight and Howley (2017) find a significant and substantive negative association between mean annual ambient nitrogen dioxide and life satisfaction. ...
Article
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We estimate the impact of a large number of determinants of subjective well-being (SWB) across 143 countries, and project SWB across macro-regions for different socio-economic scenarios. We focus on the 23% of the variance in SWB that is explained by cross-country differences, as the remaining 77% is due to individual-specific factors. We estimate a mixed-effects model to quantify the contributions of various socio-demographic, environmental, energy-related, economic, and institutional factors in explaining SWB. We find that the contribution of institutions to SWB is as large as that of economic factors. We then generate projections on the evolution of SWB until 2100 based on the five Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), a framework that facilitates the integrated analysis of future climate impacts, vulnerabilities, adaptation, and mitigation. Holding constant some institutional and economic factors for which SSP projections are not available, the results show significant differences in SWB across SSPs, of up to two points on the standard 0–10 scale of life satisfaction. The highest levels of projected material SWB are likely to occur in the Sustainable Development scenario (SSP1) and the conventional development scenario (SSP5) which lead to very similar SWB levels in material factors. Differences across regions are large. The OECD region and Latin America show the highest levels of SWB historically. The current projections reveal that Latin America could overtake the OECD countries in terms of subjective well-being. Overall, our results can provide valuable insights to policy evaluation in the context of climate change. Future work could expand these scenarios to include also further social and societal variables.
... Local governments can also optimize the land-use structure by rearranging public service facilities and increasing the area dedicated to ecological land and green spaces [16]. Accessibility to rural facilities and services has been shown to affect the SWB of rural residents [5,41]. However, unfair or unreasonable land compensation and resettlement policies regarding WRH may cause dissatisfaction among land-lost residents [8,42]. ...
Urbanization and aging populations are threatening the sustainability of rural development around the world. Improving the happiness of rural residents is closely related not only to rural development but also to the harmony and stability of a country. Sustainable development has become an important strategy for China’s rural areas. Although withdrawal from rural homesteads is an important issue in rural land policy, few researchers have examined the determinants of the subjective well-being of farmers following withdrawal. The current paper investigated 315 rural residents under three models of the “withdrawal from homestead” policy in Jinjiang City, Fujian Province, China. The application of the orderly probit model revealed how satisfaction with economic, social, environment, cultural, and policy factors impacted their subjective well-being. The pooled results showed that satisfaction with cultural and policy factors had no significant impact; however, the other aspects significantly promoted their subjective well-being. The empirical model with interaction terms indicated the significant positive impact of economic, environmental, and social factors on subjective well-being under the index replacement model, while only environment and social factors exerted a significant positive impact under the asset replacement and monetary compensation models. Corresponding policy implications are discussed.
... The implications of this concept are valuable for policymakers in many areas, including sustainability. Previous research establishes a link between environmental quality or concerns and individuals' self-reported life satisfaction, wellbeing, and happiness (e.g., Binder and Blankenberg, 2016;Ferrer-i-Carbonell and Gowdy, 2007;MacKerron and Mourato, 2009;Rehdanz and Maddison, 2008). Research also suggests that subjective well-being is associated with the extent to which people engage in proenvironmental behavior. ...
Article
This research investigates citizen-consumers' representations of environmental issues by examining user-generated content. Using an exploratory approach, we collected and analyzed 856 internet memes related to various environmental topics. Our findings shed light on the human and social implications of environmental degradation. Although they use a humoristic tone, many memes suggest that the users who created and/or shared them suffer from psychological discomfort; they experience eco-anxiety, perceived lack of control, and lack of faith in the future. Our results also stress the social consequences in terms of in-group/out-group opposition. Environmental concerns emerge as an important component to categorize individuals and to define social identity. Moreover, our analysis emphasizes the existence of stereotypical representations of all the actors involved in the environmental crisis and the recurring tendency to anthropomorphize earth. Overall, we propose that engaging in content generation in the form of memes enables individuals to feel re-empowered and reduce the psychological distress they experience due to climate change. We discuss our findings in relation to relevant theoretical frameworks.
... Because of its recording mostly at municipal and occasionally the district level, the objective pollution level density may vary significantly even within a perimeter of a single city. Therefore, the current study uses subjective perception about local air pollution, which appears to be wide-ranging, powerful, and apparent to individuals (37). Seriousness of air pollution is measured using four-point Likert scale from "Not serious at all" = 1 to "Very serious" = 4 but for regression purpose we classified this index to not serious at all and very serious, and is rated as 1 and 2. 87.5% of the people of Punjab are not aware of the air pollution problem to which they are exposed day after day. ...
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Air pollution has been notoriously held accountable for a substantial number of deaths in several countries. Moreover, its negative impact on people's health and well-being has also been witnessed in countries where air pollution is below the recommended national levels. The urban cities of Pakistan are among the worst South Asian areas in terms of air pollution. Because of this problem, the health and well-being of citizens are affected. The present study investigates the impact of air pollution on urban residents' happiness and health. It analyzes their willingness to pay for pollution prevention and its determinants by employing the data obtained through a primary survey. Pakistanis are unaware of air pollution's effect on health and quality of life, therefore only 12.5% consider this problem very serious. The results confirm the significantly negative effect of air pollution on happiness. Concerning the willingness to pay, it is differentiated in the form of tax and social contribution. Pakistanis are willing to pay more in social contribution in return for different environmental attributes. The results show that only 13% of respondents are not willing to pay for income contribution to improve air quality reporting indifferent attitude and insufficient knowledge of the environment. Our findings suggest that their apprehension concerning the environment influences people's willingness to pay. The study concludes that despite Pakistan's underdeveloped economic stature and its poor and flexible budgetary allocation for the betterment of air quality, most Pakistanis showed their willingness to pay for environmental protection. The government and environmental organizations ought to generate consensus among the general population about environmental importance, individual responsibility, and social duties thereby lessening the free-rider problem and reducing air pollution for better social welfare.
... Research on a smaller scale could show differences between neighbourhoods, even streets, which might have a much bigger influence on life satisfaction. The already mentioned study by MacKerron and Mourato for example divided London into small parcels of 50 x 50 meters, with each cell having their own modelled air pollution measurements (MacKerron & Mourato, 2009, p. 1444. Of course this procedure is not (yet) possible on a scale where a comparison between multiple cities is feasible. ...
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In this study, we examine the relationship between air pollution and life satisfaction in 69 European cities. We chose European cities because more and more people live in them, thus the problem of the European cities are more and more the problems of the European citizens. First, we define urban quality of life, which is dependent on many factors. Physical features such as buildings, streets, pedestrian ways, parks and the accessibility of retail stores and schools are as important as features such as healthcare, security and the economy. Of course, the environment is a big factor in urban life satisfaction as well. Multiple sources of air pollutants, especially concentrated in industrialised cities, have a negative effect on the objectively measured air quality as well as the perception of it. To find out if we can measure the influence of both objectively measured air pollution and perceived air pollution on life satisfaction in European cities, we decided to use data from Eurostat’s city statistics (formerly called Urban Audit). Through a combination of individual level data, where 500 people per city were asked a series of questions related to urban quality of life, and city level data, which is voluntarily provided by the city governments, we tried to model the influence of air pollution on quality of life, using a multilevel model with an ordinal outcome. While we did find a strong influence of perceived air pollution on life satisfaction, we could not confirm a significant influence of objective air pollution on life satisfaction.
... In Scotland, a recent study even showed that people living in isolated rural areas had higher levels of life satisfaction than those living in cities or even in non-isolated rural areas [24]. However, in London [25], as well as in the Halifax region of Canada [26], researches showed that people living the closest to city centers had the highest levels of subjective well-being. Of course, the contradictions in this literature raise questions. ...
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Very few studies have analyzed the influence of the environment, rural or urban, on the notion of good life and subjective well-being in sub-Saharan Africa and none, to our knowledge, has combined qualitative and quantitative methodologies for this purpose. The objectives of this interdisciplinary study were: a) to understand the emic representations of the good life in rural and urban Senegal and; b) to compare the levels and determinants of satisfaction with life between these two populations. This study was carried out in Dakar and in a very isolated rural area in the North East of Senegal: the sylvo-pastoral zone of Ferlo. A total of six focus groups were conducted for the qualitative phase, while the quantitative phase was conducted on representative samples of the populations living in Dakar (N = 1000) and Téssékéré (N = 500). Our results indicate that, against all expectations, life satisfaction is better in the Senegalese Ferlo than in the capital, Dakar. This difference may be the joint result of less meaningful social comparisons and a relationship with nature as a source of stress restoration in rural areas. However, the lifeworld of the rural Fulani of the Ferlo is being undermined by global climatic disturbances, which imposes rapid adaptations of pastoralism; otherwise this activity, that is not only subsistence but also identity-based, may disappear.
... In the past few decades, research has been carried out to explore the impact of environmental quality and SWB. In most of the research findings, there is a decline of SWB of people with the deterioration of environmental quality (MacKerron and Mourato 2009;Luechinger 2010). In a panel of 67 countries, Rehdanz and Maddison (2005) utilised the panelcorrected least squares method to find that people are happier when the effects of global warming are less and vice versa. ...
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G20 countries are responsible for more than 80% of global energy consumption and the largest CO2 emissions in the world. Literature related to the energy consumption-environmental quality-subjective wellbeing nexus is limited and lacks consensus. This paper analyses the impact of energy consumption and environmental quality on subjective wellbeing in G20 countries from 2006 to 2019 using a panel-corrected standard error (PCSE) model. Cantril life ladder data is used as a proxy of subjective wellbeing. For robustness, the Newey-West standard error model is used. The findings reveal that renewable energy consumption and environmental quality, i.e. lesser carbon emissions, enhance subjective wellbeing in G20 countries. In contrast, non-renewable energy consumption degrades subjective wellbeing. Moreover, the study also finds bidirectional causality between renewable energy consumption, non-renewable energy consumption, and economic growth. The policymakers of these countries should encourage renewable energy production and its consumption to reduce carbon emissions for conserving the environment and enhancing their people’s subjective wellbeing.
... 0.520806 (11) 0.564503 (11) (Skerrett, 2017;Park et al., 2008) 0.621027 (9) 0.549770 (9) (Cornelissen et al., 1999) Happiness 8 −0.513045 (7) −0.762701 (6) (Levinson, 2012;MacKerron and Mourato, 2009) −0.643680 (16) −0.523741 (20) (Yang et al., 2018;Chen, 2017) −0.619946 (13) −0.562833 (13) (Zijlemaa et al., 2016;Levinson, 2012) −0.5654459 (20) (Zhang et al., 2017b;Talhelm, 2017) −0.718863 (6) (Zijlemaa et al., 2016;Levinson, 2012) −0.678451 (8) −0.667679 (7) (Cho et al., 2014;Zijlemaa et al., 2016) −0.568019 (20) −0.517522 (21) , ∈ {1, … , }. If the objects are described by more than one feature, the data characterizing the objects are called multidimensional data. ...
Article
Personal interests constitute the emphasis of client-centered, personalized marketing, which leads to personalized client fulfillment. Current shoppers are interested in more than simply buying products and services; shoppers are also interested in the surroundings of the shopping site. Everywhere in the world, an analysis of marketing value, with rare exceptions, does not integrate criteria relevant to the emotional, affective and biometrical states, valence and arousal of potential buyers. Such parameters require assessment for implementing an accurate and more effective, client-centered marketing process. This research, which required developing the Emotional, Affective and Biometrical States Analytics of the Built Environment (VINERS) Method, provides a “big picture” of built environment neuromarketing. A multiple-criteria analysis integrated the emotional, affective and biometrical states of potential buyers and the surrounding environment (its physical, economic, social and environmental criteria). Neuro-decision and neuro-correlation matrices analysis constituted its basis. This research involved the accumulation and analysis of over 350 million remote data points, which aimed to ascertain the development of the biometrical, affective and emotional maps and sought to determine over 35,000 of average and strong correlations. The obtained dependencies constituted the basis for calculating and graphically submitting the VINERS circumplex model of affect, which the authors of this article had developed. This model is similar to Russell’s circumplex model of affect. However, now, the VINERS Method has provided supplements offering new opportunities. Determination of an integrated emotional market rental (IEMR) value, provision of digital tips and optimization of the IEMR value are made possible by the VINERS Method.
... Therefore, according to the studies conducted in the previous researches, the indicators of the happy city are presented in Table 1, to be considered in the evaluation of the case study. (Alesina et al., 2001;Amorim et al., 2017;Argyle and Lu, 1990;Ballas, 2013;Dolan et al., 2008;Gowdy, 2005;Hsu and Chang, 2015;King et al., 2014;MacKerron and Mourato, 2009;Marans and Stimson, 2011;Savageau, 2007;Vinson and Ericson, 2014;Wren, 2016) Economic Income, Unemployment, Quality of work, Job security, Income and Expenditure balance in family, Local business, Employment status, Dignity of work, Flexible working condition , Doctor visit per year, Number of cars in family, Home ownership, Varity of type and cost of house. (Abounoori and Asgarizadeh, 2013;Gudmundsdottir, 2013;Habibzadeh and Allahvirdiyani, 2011;Lane, 2017;Maddison and Rehdanz, 2011;Welsch, 2009;Welsch and Kuhling, 2009;Wren, 2016) Environmental Access to green space, Blue space, Attractive land cover, Pollution and quality of air and water, Attractive landscape, Reachable natural environments, Quality of cunstruction, Temperature, Precipitation, Hours of sunshine, Proximity to public transportaion, Local service, Utility and facility ,Safety , Lighthing, Condominium and parking space. ...
Article
The aim of this study is to identify and evaluate the indicators of the happy city in affordable housing projects. The Aftab town in Tehran, Iran, has been chosen as a case study. The research method of this study is descriptive analytic. To collect the research data, the field survey method (including the completion of household questionnaires) has been used. T-tests, factor analysis and multivariable regression, were applied in SPSS-22 software for data analysis. The results showed that the status of indicators of a happy city in the Mehr Housing project of Aftab town of Parand is not favourable. Furthermore, the identified indicators of the happy city, respectively, have a priority effect on the happiness of the inhabitants, including the sense of happiness regarding physical and spatial interactions, the local government's support of local residents, the quality of the business environment, the quality of local services, the quality of the artificial and natural environment, the sense of happiness as a result of social and work relationships. According to the results, the most important indicator on the level of happiness for residents in the Mehr housing projects in Parand city is the physical and spatial interactions.
... There is also evidence that pollution affects SWB directly, and that it 'plays a significant role as a predictor of inter-country and inter-temporal differences in subjective well-being' (Welsch, 2002(Welsch, , 2006. In a survey of 400 people living in London, Mackerron and Mourato (2009) found that an annual increase of 10 mg/m3 in mean nitrogen oxide corresponds to a 'drop of nearly half a point of Life Satisfaction on an 11 point rating scale' , corroborating an earlier study by Ferreira, Moro, and Clinch (2006) in Ireland. Importantly, this study found life satisfaction declined with measured actual air pollution levels and not just perceived air pollution. ...
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This publication gathers several studies from different social sciences domains to discuss the concept and practices of Quality of Life.
... While some studies find these two measurements to be significantly correlated (Oglesby et al. 2000;Smyth et al. 2008;Atari et al. 2009;Liao et al. 2015), and both are important determinants of SWB (MacKerron and Mourato 2009; Liao et al. 2015), they are weakly related or even independent in others (e.g., Forsberg et al. 1997;Kruize 2008;Semenza et al. 2008). Third, while subjective air pollution in Europe and other countries has a significantly adverse impact on local residents' happiness (Welsch 2006;MacKerron and Mourato 2009), it is found to be more harmful than objective air pollution (Ferrer-i-Carbonell and Gowdy 2007; MacKerron and Mourato 2009). Thus, one goal of this study is to compare the difference between objective and subjective measures of air quality and evaluate their relative importance on impacting SWB. ...
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The link between air pollution and individual happiness is widely documented. However, the role of social engagement in pollution reduction is seldom considered in the nexus. As such, using large individual-level data from the Gallup World Poll of 151 countries for 2005–2018, this study applies a pooled cross-sectional data approach (controlling for country and year fixed effects) to examine the impact of air pollution on individual happiness and the role of social engagement in shaping the pollution-happiness relationship. The key findings of this study reveal that better air quality raises personal subjective well-being, given that the coefficient of individuals’ perceived air quality is positive and statistically significant. More importantly, social engagement in pollution reduction is found to play an important moderating role in shaping the pollution-happiness relationship. Moreover, using a series of robustness checks, such as applying an alternative measure of happiness, an alternative measure of air quality (objective air quality), and using an instrumental variable estimation approach, confirms the positive effect of air quality (perceived or objective) on improving individuals’ happiness and the moderating role of social engagement. Furthermore, this study reveals that different demographic characteristics (i.e., age, sex, income, marital status, and urban/rural residence) respond differently to the adverse effects of air pollution and the moderating role of social engagement in pollution reduction. Thus, some policies can be revised and proposed in light of the novel findings of social engagement. In particular, the government should take an active role in combating air pollution and improving air quality by increasing financial input and strengthening environmental protection publicity. The limitations of the study and directions for future research are discussed.
... The value of the environmental good can then be assessed on the basis of the marginal rate of substitution between income and the level of the environmental good (see Welsch and Kühling, 2009). This approach has been applied to evaluate environmental quality (Van Praag and Baarsma, 2005;Ferreira et al., 2013) especially air pollution (Welsch, 2002;MacKerron and Mourato, 2009;Luechinger, 2009;Rehdanz and Maddison, 2008;Welsch, 2006), urban generation schemes (Dolan and Metcalf, 2008), and climate (Murray et al., 2013;Van de Vliert et al., 2004;Rehdanz and Maddison, 2005;Maddison and Rehdanz, 2011). ...
Article
Although natural hazard risk is expected to rise throughout the process of global warming, surprisingly little empirical research has been conducted on the question how hazard risk affects individual well-being. We contribute to closing this gap in the literature by combining geo-referenced survey data from the Gallup Tracking Poll and hurricane data for the United States. Using a wind field model we construct time-varying hurricane risk indicators for 2010 to 2018. We find that individuals from high risk regions report significantly lower levels of life satisfaction than their counterparts living in less risky areas, even after controlling for zip-code-specific effects and for socio-demographic differences between respondents. Thus, when considering the effects of natural disasters on measures of subjective well-being, the effects of disaster risk should be considered explicitly.
... As Zheng et al. (2019) demonstrated, the posts of individuals on social media on high-pollution days had less positive sentiment. Recent studies matching air pollution data and happiness data in a more disaggregated manner reveal that air pollution has negative effects on personal mood and subjective well-being (Mackerron & Mourato, 2009;Welsch, 2006). For instance, showed that daily air pollution significantly reduced hedonic happiness and raises the rate of depressive symptoms. ...
Article
Air pollution has been a major environmental problem impacting billions of people worldwide. Despite a large stream of literature discussing the psychological, economic, and environmental effects of air pollution, limited research has explored how people’s pro-environmental behavior (PEB) is affected by air pollution. The present research indicates that people are less willing to engage in PEB when air pollution is severe. Our results show that public attention to PEB is significantly negatively related to air quality (Pilot Study). Additionally, when exposed to air pollution, people are less likely to purchase pro-environmental products (Studies 1 and 2), engage in recycling (Study 3), participate in sustainable travel (Study 4) and donate to environmental organizations (Studies 4 and 5). This is because the negative mood triggered by air pollution inhibits their willingness to engage in PEB (Studies 1 and 3). The theoretical and practical implications of the present research are also discussed.
... Self-rated health contributes to satisfaction in individuals (Cho 2015;Heller et al. 2004) and across nations (Kööts-Ausmees and Realo 2015; Ngamaba and Soni 2018). Inner cities also contribute to satisfaction through a sense of belonging and identity as well as urban conveniences and lower commute times; yet safety, urban stress and pollution mitigate benefits (MacKerron and Mourato 2009;Millward and Spinney 2013;Wang and Wang 2016). ...
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The literature is rife with papers discussing the state of developed and developing economies with a number of commonalities around what drives life satisfaction. In sum, females, the educated and well off, younger and older generations, the married or partnered as well as employees with decent job prospects report higher life satisfaction. Yet, whether these hold true in a diverse, expatriate society transitioning from post-oil dependence to a knowledge economy, as is the case in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is unknown. Using survey data of a nationally representative sample collected by the Gallup Organization between the years of 2006 to 2017, we explore life satisfaction of more than 17,000 UAE residents and citizens. Our results show that the usual predictors found in other nations did not completely hold true. Age does not follow the usual U-shaped life satisfaction relationship in male or female citizens. Tertiary education contributes to life satisfaction only for men, but not women. Unemployment and the freedom to live one’s life as chosen have no significant impact. There remain culture-specific determinants of life satisfaction that require continued investigation, particularly in Middle Eastern nations such as the UAE.
... However, energy consumption dominated by coal combustion, as well as increases in industrial waste and the use of motor vehicles, along with city planning and construction accompanied by rapid economic growth, have all contributed to ambient haze pollution, one of the most serious sources of air pollution in the world [1,2]. Serious haze pollution results in poor air quality, which causes an estimated 2.6 to 4.8 million premature deaths per year worldwide [3][4][5]. From the "London Great Smog of 1952" incident, which caused surprise all over the world, to the "Chinese PM 2.5 beyond-index" event, which led to a heavy haze and caused an extreme sensation in China [6], haze pollution has accordingly attracted considerable attention from policymakers, researchers and the public in China and globally, as its strong destructiveness seriously endangers public safety, human health and well-being and quality of life [7], significantly reducing the quality of economic development [8]. ...
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Regional haze pollution, a severe atmospheric environmental problem, has profoundly harmful effects on the ecological environment, public health and the quality of economic development, and has accordingly attracted considerable attention from policymakers, researchers and the public. This article comprises a systematic literature review of the existing research on the theoretical mechanism, empirical analysis and institutional arrangement of regional haze pollution. As a result, it is found that various studies from multiple disciplines have touched upon the relevance of haze issues, including theoretical and experimental research on its formation, evolution and mechanisms from the perspective of the natural sciences, as well as empirical analysis and policy research on governance strategies, effects and mechanisms from the perspective of the social sciences, yet a systematic review and critical assessment synthesizing the above research is urgently needed. Future directions and research prospects are highlighted, showing that it is necessary to supplement and improve the theory and practice concerning the identification, measurement and assessment of haze pollution, as well as regional controlling strategies and policy implementation assessments. In short, in this review, we have aimed to help integrate the theoretical and empirical consensus in multidisciplinary fields, thereby promoting the accurate analysis, fine management and the development of precise policies in regards to regional haze pollution.
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I study how the economic value of a heterogeneously distributed environmental public good depends on how the endowment with this good and income are distributed. I find that the effect of environmental inequality on the societal willingness to pay (WTP) for the environmental good is determined both by its substitutability and by the correlation of its provision with income. Specifically, environmental inequality decreases societal WTP for substitutes, but this effect is reversed if the environmental good is a complement or distributed strongly in favour of richer households. Moreover, I show that richer households living in places where environmental good endowment is high increases (decreases) societal WTP if and only if the environmental good is a substitute for (complement to) consumption goods. I propose novel adjustment factors for structural benefit transfer to control for differences in the spatial distribution of environmental goods. Using forest preservation in Poland as an empirical example, I find that societal WTP is up to 4% higher for equal access to forests and up to 8% higher for an equal distribution of both income and access to forests.
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Although urban quality of life is one of the important topics in most of the European policies, these policies are not supported by empirical analysis. Furthermore, there are few studies in urban quality of life area that consider a sufficiently large number of cities and related factors and those that focused on European cities applied parametric analysis techniques that cannot handle multicollinearity. To remedy the aforementioned shortcomings, in this study, a large number of factors related to urban quality of life are investigated in different European cities, and to handle multicollinearity, non-parametric analysis techniques are adopted. The data stem from the Eurostat (2015), collecting information on urban quality of life for >40,000 citizens in 112 urban areas. Different non-parametric modeling techniques are applied and the results of the method that yielded the highest overall accuracy, i.e. the C5.0 algorithm, are presented. The results show that from the wide scope of considered factors, five main variables play an important role in urban life satisfaction, i.e. (i) feeling safe in the city, (ii) satisfaction with healthcare services in the city, (iii) satisfaction with the state of streets and buildings in the neighborhood, (iv) satisfaction with public transport in the city, and (v) availability of retail shops.
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Recent decades have seen accelerating interest in key factors of happiness driven by patterns of modern life. While more and more often global communities appeal to wider audiences, highlighting the need to commit to achievement of major goals of sustainable development, elimination of negative footprint and raising the bar of living standards, people are paying more attention to the living conditions they find themselves in. The government is focused on life satisfaction to identify major areas for improvement and to develop effective policy measures. This paper aims to estimate how and to which extent unfavorable ecological situation, primarily low air quality, impact population well-being and happiness. Recent studies point out that environmental conditions considerably influence subjective life satisfaction of an individual. On these pages, we test the relation between air pollution and people’s happiness at country level. Our findings show significantly negative impact, which signals the need to reduce emissions and propose solutions to lower the level of air pollution.
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Previous studies have demonstrated that ambient air pollution leads to a decrease in mental and physical function. Although studies on the relationship between long-term exposure to air pollution and health-related quality of life have been conducted, the impact of short-term exposure has rarely been reported. This study explored the association between short-term exposure to air pollution and EuroQol-visual analog scale (EQ-VAS) scores, an indicator of health-related quality of life, using repeated measures. We selected 5420 respondents from seven metropolitan cities (Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Incheon, Gwangju, Daejeon, Ulsan) and one province (Jeju) in South Korea who had participated three or more times in the Korea Health Panel survey conducted from 2009 to 2013. A total of 24,536 observations were used. We applied the daily lag effects of air pollutants on the EQ-VAS stratified by sex and age group using the generalized linear mixed model. After controlling confounders, the EQ-VAS scores decreased statistically significantly in males aged 40–49 years, and females aged 50–64 years with chronic disease. The EQ-VAS scores reduced the most to −1.571 (95% confidence interval: −2.307–−0.834) and −1.722 (95% confidence interval: −2.499–−0.944) per interquartile range increment of carbon monoxide in males aged 40–49 years and per interquartile range increment of sulfur dioxide in females aged 50–64 years, respectively. This study provides evidence that short-term exposure to air pollution is related to the discomfort experienced by individuals in their daily lives.
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This study focuses on PM2.5, a key indicator of air pollution, in three countries at different stages of economic development (India, China, and Japan) to empirically elucidate the impact of PM2.5 concentrations on subjective well-being. We identify two types of effects that PM2.5 may have on people’s subjective well-being: health-related effects and non-health-related effects. We obtain statistically significant results for health-related effects for China and India; for non-health-related effects, we obtain statistically significant results only for Japan. Notably, we observe that in China, life satisfaction is significantly reduced by health-related effects, even if the PM2.5 concentrations are lower than the domestic standard. This finding suggests that, from the viewpoint of health, more stringent environmental standards are required in China. For Japan, we find that life satisfaction is reduced by non-health-related effects when the pollution level exceeds the domestic environmental standard. This suggests the importance of efforts to reduce the level of pollution in Japan to meet the domestic environmental standard, even if there are no health-related effects. Our results thus indicate that to improve life satisfaction, when we set environmental standards, we need to consider not only health-related problems but also people’s sense of crisis.
Promoting people’s happiness is a vital goal of public policy, and air pollution, as the focus of public opinion, is an important influencing factor of residents’ happiness. Although previous literature has explored the relationship between air pollution and happiness, the impact of pollution sensitivity on the relationship has so far received little attention. This paper uses the 2016 China Labor-force Dynamics Survey database (CLDS) to study the impact of air pollution on personal happiness and dissects the moderating effect of air pollution sensitivity from the stock and incremental perspectives. The results found that (1) there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between air pollution and residents’ happiness, such that happiness increases and then decreases with increasing air pollution. The PM10 concentration at the turning point is 119.69 μg/m3, which exceeds the national secondary standard limit (70 μg/m3) by 70.99% and is at the intermediate stage of mild pollution, exceeding the WHO recommended standard (20 μg/m3) by 498.45%, far higher than the international standard recommended level; (2) both air pollution stock sensitivity and incremental sensitivity have a significant positive moderating effect on the relationship between air pollution and happiness, and pollution sensitivity exacerbates the negative effect of air pollution on residents’ happiness by shifting the curve turning point to the left and steepening the curve shape; (3) in addition, the effect of air pollution on different groups is significantly heterogeneous, with lower-age and male groups more likely to have lower happiness due to air pollution; the positive moderating effect of pollution sensitivity is more significant in lower-age, female, and higher-income groups. Therefore, in order to enhance residents’ happiness, the government should not only improve air quality, but also focus on helping residents establish an appropriate subjective perception of air quality.
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Urban air pollution is significant enough to affect the subjective feelings and health of local residents in China. However, different air pollutants experienced over different time frames have different impacts on subjective well-being. This study analyzed hourly air pollution data and telephone survey data to assess the different time effects of air pollution (Air Quality Index, Particulate Matter PM2.5, PM10, and SO2) on subjective well-being in the short-term, the medium-term, and over the long-term exposure in Shandong, China. The results showed that the short-term effects of different air pollutants on subjective well-being were not significant; however, exposure to air pollution over the medium-term and long-term significantly lowered subjective well-being of local residents. The negative effect of exposure to long-term air pollution was significantly worse compared to exposure to the medium-term air pollution. Second, high urban green coverage and adequate public medical services can obviously improve the subjective well-being of local residents. Finally, it was found that urban residents with lower personal expectations and higher trust in local government in Shandong usually experienced higher levels of subjective well-being. The different time effects of urban air pollution may reveal deep-seated issues for urban environmental governance, and can provide information to create public policies and practical recommendations.
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The research interest of urban researchers and geographers in the relationship between urban environments and happiness has been increasing. Previous studies have mostly focused on people’s long-term overall wellbeing. However, there is limited evidence that momentary happiness is associated with immediate urban environments. This study provides new evidence on this issue. 144 participants living in Guangzhou, China, were asked to repeatedly self-report their momentary happiness through ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and the day reconstruction method (DRM). The microenvironment variables were captured by portable sensors, while the built environment variables were captured by associating the GPS response locations with objective spatial data. The results indicate that momentary happiness is influenced by immediate microenvironment variables and built environment characteristics including temperature, noise, PM 2.5 , population, POI density, POI types and street intersections. On the other hand, the use of different sizes of contextual units affects the results. The built environment in 100 m buffers and the microenvironment has higher explanatory power for momentary happiness recorded by EMA than the built environment in 500 m buffers. Similarly, the temporality of the contextual influences also affects the results. Urban environment features have higher explanatory power for real-time momentary happiness recorded by EMA than recalled momentary happiness recorded by DRM. These results also strongly corroborate the results of recent studies on the uncertain geographic context problem (UGCoP) and partly explain the inconsistency in the results of past research.
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This study examines how different forms of greenhouse gases affect happiness, along with other socioeconomic and demographic variables. The study uses a panel data analysis to investigate the relationship between happiness and greenhouse gases for 95 countries, spanning the period 1990–2015. The empirical analysis is based on different measures of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), and total greenhouse gases (GHG). The empirical results document that greenhouse gases have a strong negative impact on happiness. All forms of greenhouse gases adversely impact cross-national happiness. This study concludes that greenhouse gases are a significant source of lowering cross-national happiness levels, while economic affluence is improving life satisfaction. The findings remain robust to different specifications, alternative estimation methods, and additional control variables. The findings offer certain important policy implications, such as policymakers in these countries need to invest more in green technologies and green spaces to enhance their supply and accessibility.
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Air pollution of indoor and outdoor environments is one of the most important environmental problems in metropolises and industrial cities. The study explores the effects of air quality on the well-being of students at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. The sampling of the particles was carried out in four seasons in 2017–2018. The concentration of PM≥11, PM7-11, PM4.7–7, PM3.3–4.7, PM2.1–3.3, PM1.1–2.1, PM0.7–1.1, PM0.4–0.7 and PM≤0.4 in inside and outside building was evaluated simultaneously using a direct measurement device. The length of each collection period varied from 6 to 72 h. The samples were studied by SEM/EDS and imaging was performed and the surface of particles. The effects of air quality on students were collected using a questionnaire. Based on the results, there was cough, throat irritation and psychological problems for students, especially those with asthma and respiratory problems. There were more symptoms during the summer and autumn. The life of the building, the use of natural ventilation and inadequate cooling devices are the main factor in increasing the concentration of indoor particles in the educational building. According to the result of sampling in the outside environment, the highest concentration of the particles occurred in summer and the lowest concentration in spring and winter. Due to the presence of natural ventilation in the spring and summer seasons, the trend of variation of the concentration inside the building was similar to the outside.
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People migrate from rural to urban areas. In the meantime, the benefits of staying in greener areas are also known. People’s preferences might be different by area that is composed of several land types. If so, the effect of particular land cover on human well-being is different spatially. The spatial analysis is required to formulate effective land-use policies. Here we show that urban land, water, and grassland are positively related to human well-being, whereas bare land is negatively associated in Japan. A 1 $${\mathrm{m}}^{2}$$ m 2 increase in the area of urban land per capita in a city is equivalent to an about 346 USD increase in the individual annual income of all the people in the city. Additionally, monetary values of areas of water, crops, and bare land per capita are 102, − 30, and − 268 $$\mathrm{USD}/\mathrm{Capita }{\mathrm{m}}^{2}$$ USD / Capita m 2 . Furthermore, the spatial context matters to the relationship between land cover and human well-being. This paper investigates the monetary values of several land types and their spatial variability, which provides insights to make better usage for land cover.
Article
Individual or household income has been the conventional yardstick of poverty. Presently, non-income factors are universally accepted as measures of poverty. Attention on the multiple dimensions of poverty and their policy implications has been growing in the past 20 years. However, few studies have analyzed relative multidimensional poverty, especially in China. Moreover, the relationship between relative welfare poverty and happiness has been rarely studied, particularly given that the decline of poverty seemed not bringing a significant increase in happiness in China. This research gap is noteworthy because enhancing the subjective well-being of the people is crucial to a nation's sustainable economic development. On the basis of the micro-level data from China General Social Survey, this study puts forward a welfare approach to analyzing the relative multidimensional poverty and then determines the link between relative welfare poverty and individual happiness. Our results show that 1) relative welfare poverty has not declined significantly and 2) there is a significantly happiness-reducing effect of relative welfare poverty.
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В монографии представлены некоторые результаты, полученные в ходе выполнения проекта, поддержанного РФФИ, «Разработка модели управления ресурсным потенциалом территорий», осуществленного под руководством О. В. Кудрявцевой совместными усилиями сотрудников экономического (кафедра экономики природопользования, кафедра экономической информатики, кафедра конкурентной и промышленной политики) и географического факультетов МГУ имени М. В. Ломоносова, а также результаты исследований, полученные сотрудниками ЦЭМИ РАН.
Article
Air pollution has become one of the most severe and prevalent environmental issues worldwide because millions of deaths are caused by air pollution per year. Air pollution adversely affects emotions, physical health, mental health, and ultimately human well-being. However, it is difficult to quantify the relationships between human well-being and air pollutants, including sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOX), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Furthermore, whether the current concentrations of air pollution affect humans’ attitudes toward air pollution remains unclear. Here, we show SO2, NOx, and PM2.5 are negatively associated with human well-being, based on the analyses with 246,782, 334,065, and 300,796 observations, respectively. On average, a 1-unit reduction of SO2, NOX, and PM2.5 are worth 1,510 USD, 1217 USD, 7,111 USD per capita, respectively. Additionally, humans perceive the air pollution severity to some degree, rather than accurately and absolutely, proved by the correlations between the concentrations of air pollutants and their effects estimated by geographically weighted regression. Our study illustrates the impacts of air pollution on human well-being, their spatial variability, and their monetary value to arouse the attention of governments and society.
Article
Estimation of the effects of air pollution on residents' subjective welfare, which is always monetized as willingness to pay (WTP), is essential for policymakers to set the optimal abatement targets. This paper adopts Life Satisfaction Approach to explore the mechanism of air pollution affecting residents' subjective well-being (SWB), and calculates the optimal abatement rate. Based on CGSS data, we use the Probit model and the instrumental variables method to conduct empirical analysis. Results show that the positive indirect effect of air pollution through economic growth channel covers nearly 1/3 of the negative direct effect on SWB, which reduces people's willingness to pay for pollution control. Under the maximization of SWB, the optimal reduction rate is 62.857%. To achieve the optimal rate, about 5% of per capita GDP would have to be sacrificed, equivalent to a 20% increase in physical capital stock per capita, or a 13% boost of the human capital stock. When residents have lower education and higher self-rated health, the transmission mechanism amplifies the extent to which the indirect effects mask the direct effects, and the optimal reduction rate drops to 50%.
Chapter
Individual life satisfaction (LS), used as a proxy measure of human wellbeing, has been a growing topic of research in the discipline of economics over the last 30 years. The underpinning rationale is the need to determine the extent to which various contextual factors contribute to LS, thereby informing policymaking decisions designed to enhance LS in the population. Empirical studies have predominantly focused on economic factors like income and employment and socio-demographic variables, e.g., age, gender, education and health. This paper presents a review of the LS research literature, focusing on the less widely researched influences of geography, environmental factors, and climate. The review identifies knowledge gaps in these specific areas and develops a research agenda to address these gaps. The review finds evidence of significant variations in individual LS, and in influencing factors, between different locations within the same country. While these variations’ nature and significance appear largely dependent on the scale of geographic aggregation used in the data, clear patterns for these spatial variations are yet to be identified and understood. Building on recent studies undertaken in Australia, further research using techniques such as geographically weighted regression at different scales of observation could provide insights into both where and why spatial clusters occur.
Article
Purpose This paper aims to examine the factors influencing renewable energy output. Design/methodology/approach The panel data model was used to analyze the fixed and random effects. Findings The results showed that economic development, environmental-related technology patents, renewable energy consumption and the publication of papers and periodicals contributed to enhancing renewable energy production. Wind power generation’s adjustment speed is faster than that of solar power generation in the renewable energy sector. The use of renewable energy was affected by the weather and related costs. Originality/value Many countries choose energy with reasonable prices and stable power generation and use renewable energy as additional backup power.
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Environmental protection is regarded as an important component of contemporary governmental affairs, thus partly determining people’s attitude towards the performance of the authorities. The purpose of this paper is to study the impact of Internet use on the trust cost of environmental risk to government. By employing the Chinese Social Survey in 2017, this study estimates a mediating effect model to investigate the relationship between Internet use, environmental risk perception, and people’s trust in government. The results reveal that Internet use has a significant and positive impact on individuals’ environmental risk perception, which would further indirectly lead to a decline in their trust in government. In addition, this study suggests the effect of Internet use on the political cost of environmental risk varies depending on people’s purpose of using the Internet and their attitudes toward online information. The findings address several environmental governance issues in the digital era, e.g., the effect of Internet technology on environmental risk management and people’s attitudes toward the performance of the environmental protection sector.
Article
We quantify and estimate the economic impact of the transboundary haze pollution in 2015 on Singapore following reliable quantitative methods and techniques in cost-benefit analysis. We include in the estimation both tangible and intangible costs associated to haze pollution. Specifically, in the estimation of the tangible costs of haze, the estimation includes (1) adverse impacts of haze on health, (2) loss in tourism, (3) loss in business as an indirect effect from loss of tourist receipts, (4) productivity loss due to restricted activity days and (5) cost of mitigation and adaptation by government agencies and households. For the estimation of the intangible costs, the value is derived from the contingent valuation study of Quah, Chia, and Tsiat-Siong (2018) which was conducted in 2018 to estimate Singapore residents’ willingness to pay for a pro-environment collaboration project that could effectively stop “slash and burn” practices and significantly reduce the annual haze pollution issue. The total cost of the 2015 haze episode on Singapore which lasted for 2 months is estimated at S$1.83 billion, amounting to 0.45 % of the country’s gross domestic product. Accordingly, the total tangible cost is estimated at S$1.46 billion equivalent to 0.36 % of GDP while the total intangible cost stands at S$0.36 billion equivalent to 0.09 % of GDP. The findings have important implications for public policy. Article Full-text available This paper presents a comprehensive theoretical and methodological framework clarifying the relationship between non-market environmental valuation techniques, in particular hedonic and life-satisfaction methods. The paper shows how life-satisfaction scores can be used to test correctly the equilibrium condition in location markets required by the hedonic approach and that in the absence of equilibrium, the life-satisfaction approach is still a theoretically valid valuation technique. Valuation using the life-satisfaction approach suffers from caveats associated with the cardinalisation of utility, however. Using data from Ireland, we apply this framework to the valuation of amenities linked to respondents' dwelling areas using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Article Full-text available Article Full-text available Rivalry and habit have often been conceived in terms of irrationality or externality by mainstream economists. This chapter argues that this perspective is insufficient. The two classes of phenomena are empirically shown to provide a major source of human happiness, a fact that should not be ignored nor underplayed. A more realistic use of the economist's tools is called for. Examples are discussed on the choice between consumption and leisure, benefits from public expenditure, and redistribution. Article Full-text available The World Database of Happiness is an ongoing register of scientific research on subjective appreciation of life. It brings together findings that are scattered throughout many studies and prepares for research synthesis. The database stores research findings and presents these in standardized abstracts. This system differs from bibliographies that store publications and data-archives that store investigations. The system prepares for synthetic analysis by capitalizing on conceptual selectiveness, comparability, and completeness. As the method is new, there is no common word for it. It is called a finding-browser. The database allows selection of findings by a) indicator used, b) public, time and place, c) methodology of the investigation. The correlational findings can also be found on subject. The system prepares for synthetic studies, in particular for reviews and meta-analyses; it facilitates comparisons across time and nations. When applied on a well-defined field, it allows a better accumulation of available knowledge and a better focusing of new research. The data-system serves to cope with the following problems of research integration, a) chronic confusion of tongues, b) growing mass of research findings, c) scattered publication of findings, and d) selective reviewing and retrieval of findings. The database is freely available on the web. The Internet address is: http:// www. eur. nl/fsw.eur.nl/research/happiness. Article Full-text available This paper measures the concepts of welfare and well-being in Russia on the basis of two large Russian household surveys, carried out in 1993 and 1994. Welfare refers to satisfaction with income and well-being refers to satisfaction with life as a whole. This paper investigates how climate conditions in various parts of Russia affect the cost of living and well-being. Climate equivalence scales have been constructed for both welfare and well-being. Article Full-text available In recent years, economists have been using socio-economic and socio-demographic characteristics to explain self-reported individual happiness or satisfaction with life. Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS), we employ data disaggregated at the individual and local level to show that while these variables are important, consideration of amenities such as climate, environmental and urban conditions is critical when analyzing subjective well-being. Location-specific factors are shown to have a direct impact on life satisfaction. Most importantly, however, the explanatory power of our happiness function substantially increases when the spatial variables are included, highlighting the importance of the role of the spatial dimension in determining well-being. Article Full-text available A grounded theory analysis of reasons for driving to work was undertaken following semi-structured interviews with 19 regular private car commuters in a small English city. Five core motives were identified: journey time concerns; journey-based affect; effort minimisation; personal space concerns; and monetary costs. An underlying desire for control underpinned many of these motives. The analysis revealed misconceptions regarding journey times and control in relation to car and public transport use, systematic underestimation of car-related monetary costs, and the importance of self- and identity-relevant consequences in relation to transport policy acceptance. Drivers’ motives and misconceptions are discussed in light of transport demand management policies. Article Full-text available The focus of this paper is the relationship between subjective measures of well-being and individual environmental attitudes. We use an ordered probit model to examine the relationship between measures of subjective well-being and attitudes regarding ozone pollution and species extinction. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey we find a negative coefficient for concern about ozone pollution on individual's well-being and a positive one for concern about species extinction. These results hold when explanatory variables are included indicating whether or not the person lives in a polluted environment, whether or not the person engages in outdoor leisure activities, and the region where an individual lives. These results also hold when we control for individual psychological traits. Article Full-text available Given the lack of unequivocal findings on person-career fit, this investigation aims to gain insight into the role of cognitive styles in understanding students’ career preferences by two complementary studies. In study 1, we examined whether students (n = 84) with different cognitive styles differ in their entrepreneurial attitudes. Results showed a strong positive correlation between the creating style and the overall occupational status choice index, which implies a preference to become self-employed. No significant correlations were found between this index and the knowing and the planning style respectively. A more detailed look at the occupational status choice sub-indexes showed a positive correlation for the knowing style with the ‘economic opportunity’ index, for the planning style with ‘security’ and ‘participation in the whole process’, and for the creating style with ‘career’, ‘challenge’, ‘economic opportunity’, ‘autonomy’, ‘authority’, and ‘self-realisation’. No significant differences in overall occupational status choice were found in terms of gender, degree option, or family background in entrepreneurship. Study 2 focused on the link between students’ career anchors and their cognitive styles and personality profile (n = 275). We found for the knowing style a positive correlation with ‘pure challenge’, for the planning style a positive correlation with ‘lifestyle’ and ‘security/stability’ and a negative one with ‘autonomy/independence’, and for the creating style a positive correlation with ‘entrepreneurial creativity’ and ‘pure challenge’ and a negative one with ‘security/stability’. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that cognitive styles and personality traits could predict people’s career anchors to a certain extent. These findings are particularly relevant for career counselling services of higher education institutions and for selection and recruitment policies of organ Article Full-text available This paper presents the results of the first national study of air quality in Britain to consider the implications of its distribution across over ten thousand local communities in terms of potential environmental injustice. We consider the recent history of the environmental justice debate in Britain, Europe, and the USA and, in the light of this, estimate how one aspect of air pollution, nitrogen dioxide (NO<sub>2</sub>) levels, affects different population groups differentially across Britain. We also estimate the extent to which people living in each community in Britain contribute towards this pollution, with the aid of information on the characteristics of the vehicles they own. We find that, although community NO<sub> x </sub>emission and ambient NO<sub>2</sub> concentration are strongly related, the communities that have access to fewest cars tend to suffer from the highest levels of air pollution, whereas those in which car ownership is greatest enjoy the cleanest air. Pollution is most concentrated in areas where young children and their parents are more likely to live and least concentrated in areas to which the elderly tend to migrate. Those communities that are most polluted and which also emit the least pollution tend to be amongst the poorest in Britain. There is therefore evidence of environmental injustice in the distribution and production of poor air quality in Britain. However, the spatial distribution of those who produce and receive most of that pollution have to be considered simultaneously to see this injustice clearly. Article Full-text available Records on recovery after cholecystectomy of patients in a suburban Pennsylvania hospital between 1972 and 1981 were examined to determine whether assignment to a room with a window view of a natural setting might have restorative influences. Twenty-three surgical patients assigned to rooms with windows looking out on a natural scene had shorter postoperative hospital stays, received fewer negative evaluative comments in nurses' notes, and took fewer potent analgesics than 23 matched patients in similar rooms with windows facing a brick building wall. Article Full-text available The research agendas of psychologists and economists now have several overlaps, with behavioural economics providing theoretical and experimental study of the relationship between behaviour and choice, and hedonic psychology discussing appropriate measures of outcomes of choice in terms of overall utility or life satisfaction. Here we model the relationship between values (understood as principles guiding behaviour), choices and their final outcomes in terms of life satisfaction, and use data from the BHPS to assess whether our ideas on what is important in life (individual values) are broadly connected to what we experience as important in our lives (life satisfaction). Article Full-text available There is a strong need to complement the analysis of social well-being at the European regional level to supplement existing, predominantly economic analysis. This work extends the measurement of well-being across the EU-15 regions in several ways. First, we assess the determinants of well-being using a multilevel modelling approach using data at the national, regional and individual levels. Second, we have extended the model to account for the effects of social interactions within each group, as well as intrinsic socio-demographic indicators and higher-level exogenous contextual factors. Empirical findings support the idea that well-being is strongly dependent both on these general forms of social interactions and on more specific individual characteristics. We find that there is some evidence of greater regional effects relative to national effects, but individual well-being continues to be affected most by micro-level phenomena. Article Full-text available The research agendas of psychologists and economists now have several overlaps, with behavioural economics providing theoretical and experimental study of the relationship between behaviour and choice, and hedonic psychology discussing appropriate measures of outcomes of choice in terms of overall utility or life satisfaction. Here we model the relationship between values (understood as principles guiding behaviour), choices and their final outcomes in terms of life satisfaction, and use data from the BHPS to assess whether our ideas on what is important in life (individual values) are broadly connected to what we experience as important in our lives (life satisfaction). Article The aim of this study is to estimate the relative contributions of psychosocial conditions, material circumstances, and health behaviors to differences in physical and mental health by marital status. Data on 3,510 Dutch persons who were part of the GLOBE study, aged 25-74 years, are used. Multiple logistic regression models show that never-married, divorced, and widowed men have higher morbidity rates than married men. For women, the health differences are almost solely due to excess morbidity among divorced women. We found that psychosocial conditions contributed most to the explanation of morbidity differences among men (25%-50%), but material circumstances contributed most among women (50%-100%). Article Journal of Democracy 6.1 (1995) 65-78 As featured on National Public Radio, The New York Times, and in other major media, we offer this sold-out, much-discussed Journal of Democracy article by Robert Putnam, "Bowling Alone." You can also find information at DemocracyNet about the Journal of Democracy and its sponsor, the National Endowment for Democracy. Many students of the new democracies that have emerged over the past decade and a half have emphasized the importance of a strong and active civil society to the consolidation of democracy. Especially with regard to the postcommunist countries, scholars and democratic activists alike have lamented the absence or obliteration of traditions of independent civic engagement and a widespread tendency toward passive reliance on the state. To those concerned with the weakness of civil societies in the developing or postcommunist world, the advanced Western democracies and above all the United States have typically been taken as models to be emulated. There is striking evidence, however, that the vibrancy of American civil society has notably declined over the past several decades. Ever since the publication of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, the United States has played a central role in systematic studies of the links between democracy and civil society. Although this is in part because trends in American life are often regarded as harbingers of social modernization, it is also because America has traditionally been considered unusually "civic" (a reputation that, as we shall later see, has not been entirely unjustified). When Tocqueville visited the United States in the 1830s, it was the Americans' propensity for civic association that most impressed him as the key to their unprecedented ability to make democracy work. "Americans of all ages, all stations in life, and all types of disposition," he observed, "are forever forming associations. There are not only commercial and industrial associations in which all take part, but others of a thousand different types -- religious, moral, serious, futile, very general and very limited, immensely large and very minute. . . . Nothing, in my view, deserves more attention than the intellectual and moral associations in America." Recently, American social scientists of a neo-Tocquevillean bent have unearthed a wide range of empirical evidence that the quality of public life and the performance of social institutions (and not only in America) are indeed powerfully influenced by norms and networks of civic engagement. Researchers in such fields as education, urban poverty, unemployment, the control of crime and drug abuse, and even health have discovered that successful outcomes are more likely in civically engaged communities. Similarly, research on the varying economic attainments of different ethnic groups in the United States has demonstrated the importance of social bonds within each group. These results are consistent with research in a wide range of settings that demonstrates the vital importance of social networks for job placement and many other economic outcomes. Meanwhile, a seemingly unrelated body of research on the sociology of economic development has also focused attention on the role of social networks. Some of this work is situated in the developing countries, and some of it elucidates the peculiarly successful "network capitalism" of East Asia. Even in less exotic Western economies, however, researchers have discovered highly efficient, highly flexible "industrial districts" based on networks of collaboration among workers and small entrepreneurs. Far from being paleoindustrial anachronisms, these dense interpersonal and interorganizational networks undergird ultramodern industries, from the high tech of Silicon Valley to the high fashion of Benetton. The norms and networks of civic engagement also powerfully affect the performance of representative government. That, at least, was the central conclusion of my own 20-year, quasi-experimental study of subnational governments in different regions of Italy. Although all these regional governments seemed identical on paper, their levels of effectiveness varied dramatically. Systematic inquiry showed that the quality of governance was determined by longstanding traditions of civic engagement (or its absence). Voter turnout, newspaper readership, membership in choral societies and football clubs -- these were the hallmarks of a successful region. In fact, historical analysis suggested that these networks of organized reciprocity and civic solidarity... Article In a lucid and compelling analysis, written for economists and non-economists alike, the authors find that happiness research cannot be used to justify government intervention in the way its proponents suggest. Those who would wish governments to take into account measures of wellbeing when setting policy often point to the fact that increases in income have not lead to increases in measured happiness, and thus governments should concentrate on redistribution and improving the quality of life, rather than on allowing people to benefit from economic growth. In fact, measured happiness does not appear to be related to public spending, violent crime, property crime, sexual equality, disability, life expectancy or unemployment either. The stark fact is that the difficulties in measuring society's happiness are insurmountable, and policymakers should not claim that they can control and increase happiness through public policy decisions. Article This paper argues that institutional conditions in the form of the extent and form of democracy have systematic and sizeable effects on individual well-being, in addition to demographic and economic factors. Using recent interview data from 6,000 residents of Switzerland, we show that individuals are cet. par. happier, the better developed the institutions of direct democracy are in their area of residence. This also applies to a second institution, the degree of government decentralisation (federalism). Finally, we are able to support some of the earlier results for other countries and periods with new data also based on a survey with a large sample size. In particular, we find that the unemployed are to a great extent less happy than employed persons, and that a higher household income level only raises happiness to a small extent Article This paper examines trends in psychological well-being in the united States since the Second World War. To measure these trends, a long series of surveys with questions on subjective, personal happiness are analyzed. To test the adequacy of this measure, its association with more complex measures of well-being (e.g., the Bradburn Affect Balance scale and the Andrews and Withey life-feeling scale) was examined, and its test/retest stability determined. Both indicated that happiness might serve as a suitable indicator. Variations in question wording were examined in the happiness series. Differences were found that prevented all wordings being used in a uniform, single series, but the general trends were detectable by using the two main variations as parallel series. Possible seasonal and context effects were also found that further complicated the analysis of happiness. With the effects of variant wordings, seasons, and contexts taken into consideration, it appears that happiness rose from the late forties to the late fifties, then fell until the early seventies, and then, possibly after some rebound, remained stable from the early seventies to the present. Article A major fraction of ambient particulate matter arises from atmospheric gas-to-particle conversion. Attempts to reduce particulate matter levels require control of the same organic and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions that are precursors to urban and regional ozone formation. Modeling of the gas-aerosol chemical interactions that govern levels of particulate components showed that control of gas-phase organic and NOx precursors does not lead to proportionate reductions of the gas-phase–derived components of atmospheric particles. The chemical coupling between ozone and particulate matter has implications for strategies to achieve the new ozone and particulate matter standards proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Book How do we measure happiness? Focusing on subjective measures as a proxy for welfare and well-being, this book finds ways to do that. Subjective measures have been used by psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, and, more recently, economists to answer a variety of scientifically and politically relevant questions. Van Praag, a pioneer in this field since 1971, and Ferrer-i-Carbonell present in this book a generally applicable methodology for the analysis of subjective satisfaction. Drawing on a range of surveys on people's satisfaction with their jobs, income, housing, marriages, and government policy, among other areas of life, this book shows how satisfaction with life "as a whole" is an aggregate of these domain satisfactions. Using German, British, Dutch, and Russian data, the authors cover a wide range of topics. This groundbreaking book presents a new and fruitful methodology that constitutes a welcome addition to the social sciences. The paperback edition has been revised to bring the literature review up-to-date and the chapter on poverty has been revised and extended to take account of new research. Available in OSO: Article Hitherto the task of valuing differences in environmental quality arising from air pollution and noise nuisance has been carried out mainly by using the hedonic price technique. This paper proposes a different approach to derive information on individual preferences for local environmental quality. It analyses data drawn from the German socio-economic panel in an attempt to explain differences in self-reported levels of well-being in terms of environmental quality. Mindful of existing research a large number of other explanatory variables are included to control for socio-demographic differences, economic circumstances as well as neighbourhood characteristics. Differences in local air quality and noise levels are measured by how much an individual feels affected by air pollution or noise exposure in their residential area. The evidence suggests that even when controlling for a range of other factors higher local air pollution and noise levels significantly diminish subjective well-being. But interestingly differences in perceived air and noise pollution are not capitalised into differences in house prices. Article We study the effect of the level of inequality in society on individual well-being using a total of 123,668 answers to a survey question about “happiness”. We find that individuals have a lower tendency to report themselves happy when inequality is high, even after controlling for individual income, a large set of personal characteristics, and year and country (or, in the case of the US, state) dummies. The effect, however, is more precisely defined statistically in Europe than in the US. In addition, we find striking differences across groups. In Europe, the poor and those on the left of the political spectrum are unhappy about inequality; whereas in the US the happiness of the poor and of those on the left is uncorrelated with inequality. Interestingly, in the US, the rich are bothered by inequality. Comparing across continents, we find that left-wingers in Europe are more hurt by inequality than left-wingers in the US. And the poor in Europe are more concerned with inequality than the poor in America, an effect that is large in terms of size but is only significant at the 10% level. We argue that these findings are consistent with the perception (not necessarily the reality) that Americans have been living in a mobile society, where individual effort can move people up and down the income ladder, while Europeans believe that they live in less mobile societies. Article This paper explores the relationship between pollution and reported subjective well-being (happiness) in ten European countries. Using a set of panel data from happiness surveys, jointly with data on income and air pollution, it examines how self-reported well-being varies with prosperity and environmental conditions and calculates the implied valuation of changes in air pollution. The paper finds that air pollution plays a statistically significant role as a predictor of inter-country and inter-temporal differences in subjective well-being. The effect of air pollution on well-being translates into a considerable monetary value of improved air quality. The improvements achieved in Western Europe in the 1990s are valued at about$750 per capita per year in the case of nitrogen dioxide and about \$1400 per capita per year in the case of lead. Due to synergies among the pollutants, the value of simultaneously reducing nitrogen dioxide and lead is slightly higher than the sum of these values.
Article
This paper attempts to explain international trends and differences in subjective well-being over the final fifth of the twentieth century. This is done in several stages. First there is a brief review of some reasons for giving a central role to subjective measures of well-being. This is followed by sections containing a survey of earlier empirical studies, a description of the main variables used in this study, a report of results and tests, discussion of the links among social capital, education and well-being, and concluding comments. The main innovation of the paper, relative to earlier studies of subjective well-being, lies in its use of large international samples of individual respondents, thus permitting the simultaneous identification of individual-level and societal-level determinants of well-being. This is particularly useful in identifying direct and indirect linkages between social capital and well-being.
Article
Recent perspectives on public understandings of global environmental risk have emphasised the interpretation, judgement and ‘sense-making’ that takes place, modes of perception that are inextricably tied to aspects of ‘local’ context. In this paper we offer a current picture of the ways in which residents think about the problem of urban air pollution. To do this we utilise elements of a wider research project involving a survey and in-depth interviews with members of the public. In this way — and drawing upon the prior air pollution perception literature and recent work in the field of environmental and risk perception — we present a more analytical interpretation than has hitherto been approached. Conclusions are drawn which stress the localisation of people's understandings within the immediate physical, social and cultural landscape and also through a trust in personal experiences over any kind of information-based evidence. From this position, and with the development of implications for policy, we demonstrate the need to study public perceptions if the objectives of air quality, and more generally, environmental management are to be achieved.
Article
The life satisfaction approach to environmental valuation investigates how self-rated subjective well-being (life satisfaction, “happiness”) varies with income on the one hand and environmental quality on the other. The happiness function so established allows the determining of the implicit monetary value of improved environmental quality by computing the marginal rate of substitution of income for abatement. The present paper extends the life satisfaction approach to a comprehensive welfare analysis by estimating not only the monetary benefits of air pollution abatement but also the associated costs in terms of income foregone. Using a cross-national data set with 54 countries, the paper computes (a) net marginal benefits of abatement, (b) optimal abatement rates and (c) the monetary value of optimal abatement.
Article
This paper intends to provide an evaluation of where the economic research on happiness stands and in which interesting directions it might develop. First, the current state of the research on happiness in economics is briefly discussed. We emphasize the potential of happiness research in testing competing theories of individual behavior. Second, the crucial issue of causality is taken up illustrating it for a particular case, namely whether marriage makes people happy or whether happy people get married. Third, happiness research is taken up as a new approach to measuring utility in the context of cost-benefit analysis.
Article
Distortions in memory impose important bounds on rationality but have been largely disregarded in economics. While it is possible to learn, it is more difficult, and sometimes impossible, to unlearn. This retention effect lowers individual utility directly or via reduced productivity, and adds costs to principal-agent relationships. The imprinting effect states that the more one tries to forget a piece of information the more vivid it stays in memory, leading to a paradoxical outcome. The effects are based on, and are supported by, psychological experiments, and it is shown that they are relevant in many economic situations and beyond.
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This article examines how concepts of place effects are relevant in understanding the public's experience of air pollution. Using qualitative and quantitative data from a case study of four neighbourhoods in north London, the analysis shows how this experience is mediated by multiple aspects of place, which may be seen as overlain. These multiple aspects also provide routes to inequalities in the experience of air pollution. Working with these understandings of the relevance of place could provide ways to mitigate the experience of pollution, and to address environmental health inequalities.
Article
Capitalism as if the World Matters, by Jonathon Porritt. Earthscan, 2005. ISBN 1844071928
Article
People spend a lot of time commuting and often find it a burden. According to standard economics, the burden of commuting is chosen when compensated either on the labor or on the housing market so that individuals' utility is equalized. However, in a direct test of this strong notion of equilibrium with panel data, we find that people with longer commuting time report systematically lower subjective well-being. This result is robust with regard to a number of alternative explanations. We mention several possibilities of an extended model of human behavior able to explain this "commuting paradox". Copyright © The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2008 .
Article
The trends and consequences of terrorist activities are often captured by counting the number of incidents and casualties. More recently, the effects of terrorist acts on various aspects of the economy have been analyzed. These costs are surveyed and put in perspective. As economic consequences are only a part of the overall costs of terrorism, possible approaches for estimating the utility losses of the people affected are discussed. Results using the life satisfaction approach, in which individual utility is approximated by self-reported subjective well-being, suggest that people's utility losses may far exceed the purely economic consequences. Copyright 2007 The Author Journal compilation © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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This paper estimates the impact of recorded domestic property crime on property prices in the London area. Crimes in the Criminal Damage category have a significant negative impact on prices. A one-tenth standard deviation decrease in the local density of criminal damage adds 1% to the price of an average Inner London property. Burglaries have no measurable impact on prices, even after allowing for the potential dependence of burglary rates on unobserved property characteristics. One explanation we offer here is that vandalism, graffiti and other forms of criminal damage motivate fear of crime in the community and may be taken as signals or symptoms of community instability and neighbourhood deterioration in general. Copyright 2004 Royal Economic Society.
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This paper discusses a novel approach to elicit people’s preferences for public goods, namely the life satisfaction approach. Reported subjective well-being data are used to directly evaluate utility consequences of public goods. The strengths of this approach are compared to traditional approaches and identification issues are addressed. Moreover, it is applied to estimate utility losses caused by terrorist activities in France, the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Terrorism in these countries depresses life satisfaction in a sizeable and robust way. However, the calculation of the trade-off between terrorism and income requires improved measurement of the marginal utility of income.
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El presente art�culo se centra en la modelizaci�n econ�mica y el an�lisis emp�rico de estructuras sostenibles del consumo privado, tratando de extender los modelos econ�micos convencionales de consumo. El punto de partida para el an�lisis de consumo sontenible de energ�a para el transporte es el concepto de funciones de producci�n de los hogares. El punto principal del an�lisis son los servicios de consumo derivados de una combinaci�n de stocks (sistema de transportes) y flujos (principalmente, energ�a). Los patrones de consumo sostenible pueden alcanzarse mediante una sustituci�n de flujos por stocks (por ejemplo, mejoras en la eficiencia energ�tica del sistema de transportes). Los dos factores esenciales en el contexto del consumo sostenible son, por un lado, los cambios en la demanda de los servicios de consumo deseados y, por otro, la estructura de la combinaci�n entre flujos y stocks necesarios para la provisi�n de dichos servicios. The paper focuses on economic modelling and empirical analysis of sustainable structures in private consumption and strives to extend conventional economic consumption models. Starting point for the model analysis of sustainable consumption of energy for transport purposes was the household production function concept. The focal point of the analysis is consumer services derived from a combination of stocks (transport systems) and flows (mainly energy). Sustainable consumption patterns can arise, when within service demand production substitution of flows by stocks (e.g. improvements in energy efficiency of transport systems) takes place. Two essential factors are crucial in the context of sustainable consumption: the demand shifts concerning the consumer services desired, and the composition of the stock-flow mix necessary for the service provision.
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We assess the monetary value of the noise damage, caused by aircraft noise nuisance around Amsterdam Airport, as the sum of hedonic house price differentials and a residual cost component. The residual costs are assessed from a survey, including an ordinal life satisfaction scale, on which individual respondents have scored. The derived compensation scheme depends on, among other things, the objective noise level, income, the degree to which prices account for noise differences, and the presence of noise insulation.