OECD Environment Working Papers

1997-0900 (en ligne)
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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies on environmental issues prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal authors are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language English or French with a summary in the other if available.

Environmental Quality and Life Satisfaction

Evidence Based on Micro-Data You or your institution have access to this content

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Jérôme Silva1, Femke de Keulenaer2, Nick Johnstone1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

  • 2: Gallup Europe, Belgium

20 mars 2012
Bibliographic information
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Environmental conditions are likely to have an effect on people’s sense of life satisfaction, both directly and indirectly. In recent years there has been a burgeoning literature assessing the relationship between measures of environmental quality and subjective well-being. This type of studies can be a useful input into the setting of policy priorities. In this paper, the effects of individual and contextual factors on satisfaction with environmental quality and life satisfaction are assessed, using micro-data from a broad cross-section of OECD and non-OECD countries collected in the framework of the Gallup World Poll. In the analysis it is found that actual and perceived environmental quality has a significant effect on life satisfaction, with the magnitude being approximately half that of self-reported health status.
subjective well-being, local environmental quality, life satisfaction, air pollution
Classification JEL:
  • D60: Microeconomics / Welfare Economics / Welfare Economics: General
  • Q51: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Valuation of Environmental Effects
  • Q53: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
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