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The Life Satisfaction Approach to Environmental Valuation
Discussion paper / Internet publication
ID 107022
Author(s) Frey, Bruno S.; Luechinger, Simon; Stutzer, Alois
Author(s) at UniBasel Frey, Bruno S.
Stutzer, Alois
Year 2009
Month and day 10-04
Title The Life Satisfaction Approach to Environmental Valuation
Series title WWZ Discussion Papers
Volume 2009
Number 07
Publisher / Institution WWZ
Keywords life satisfaction approach, subjective well-being, non-market valuation, cost-benefit analysis, air pollution

In many countries environmental policies and regulations are implemented to improve environmental quality and thus individuals’ well-being. However, how do individuals value the environment? In this paper, we review the Life Satisfaction Approach (LSA) representing a new non-market valuation technique. The LSA builds on the recent development of subjective well-being research in economics and takes measures of reported life satisfaction as an empirical approximation to individual welfare. Micro-econometric life satisfaction functions are estimated taking into account environmental conditions along with income and other covariates. The estimated coefficients for the environmental good and income can then be used to calculate the implicit willingness-to-pay for the environmental good.

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