Pasquale Lucio Scandizzo, Alessandra Imperiali
Paper prepared for presentation at the 17th ICABR Conference
“Innovation and Policy for the Bioeconomy”
Ravello, Italy, June 18-21,2013
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Outline
Introduction
Literature review
Data and variables
Empirical analysis
Concluding remarks
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Introduction
Aim of this paper
• Investigate the link between society’s economic
development and average level of subjective well-being.
• Account for the effects of environmental attitudes on
subjective well-being.
• Explore the implications of a model, where environmental
variables play a significant effect on human happiness.
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Introduction
Key Questions
• Is happiness research making substantial progress along
new lines?
• Are there new paradigms for research in the sector which
include also the environment?
• What is the effect of environment on human happiness?
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Literature and review
The Happiness Research
Recently an intense research activity has been directed towards the study
of happiness.
In the words of St.Thomas:
«Happiness is the ultimate achievement of an intellectual nature»
In 2007 Biswas-Diener and Dean defined happiness as:
“the experience of frequently mindly pleasant emotions, the relative
absence of unpleasant feelings, and a general feeling of satisfaction with
one’s life.” (Veenhoven, 1993)
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Literature and review
The Happiness Research
• The first important contribution to the happiness literature was derived by
Richard Easterlin who, in several papers examined the relationship between
happiness and GDP both across than within countries through time (1974,
1995,2005a)
• Starting from 1990, empirical studies on happiness and subjective well-being
started to incorporate other diverse fields such as social sciences and politics
(Frey and Stutzer 2002,Graham and Helliwell, 2001, Di Tella et al., 1998,
2000, Blanchflower and Oswald, 1998, 2000, Easterlin and Schaeffer, 1999)
• In 2002 the psychologist Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in
Economics because he was able to establish a relationship between utility
and happiness.
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Literature and review
The Happiness Research
Despite the considerable literature on the economics of happiness, little interest
has been devoted to the relationship between environmental attitudes on
subjective well-being.
Different studies found that climatic variables have a significant effect on
subjective well-being (Frijters & Van Praag, 1998; Rehdanz and Maddison,
2005; Brereton et al., 2008)
Rehdanz and Maddison (2005) investigated the relationship between climate
and happiness.
The linkage between air pollution and happiness has been examined by
Welsch (2002) using cross-section data for 54 countries, and by Welsch
(2006) using a panel data approach.
The results point to the fact that air pollution plays a statistically significant role
as a predictor of inter-country and inter-temporal differences in subjective
well-being.
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Literature and review
The Happiness Research
The same analysis has been performed by Di Tella and MacCulloch, 2008; Van
Praag & Baarsma, 2005, who noticed that noise and air pollution has a
negative effect on subjective well-being.
Ferrer-i-Carbonell and Gowdy (2007) and Rehdanz and Maddison (2008)
examined the effect of environmental attitudes on subjective well-being
(Smyth and Qian, 2008)
The implications of happiness research for policy prescriptions of
environmental and research economics have yet to be worked out.
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Introduction
Our Hypotheses
• The considerable literature on the economics of happiness, finds a positive
relationship between economic growth and the average level of subjective
well-being.
• We are interested in extending this analysis to the link between “green
growth “ and happiness, with the hypothesis that a positive relationship
exists between a positive attitude toward the environment and subjective
well-being. This is akin to the so called “ biophilia” hypothesis (Wilson, 1984,
Kellert and Wilson, 1995), i.e. that human beings are subconsciously gratified
by seeking a connection with the rest of life.
• An implication of biophilia is a positive relationship between protected
areas, attempts of human beings to coexist peacefully with the nature and
the average level of subjective well-being.
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Introduction
The biophilia hypothesis
• The biophilia hypothesis asserts the existence of a fundamental genetically
based, human need and propensity to affiliation with life and lifelike processes
(Peter H. Kahn, 1997)
• According to Wilson (1984) the biophilic instint emerges in emotions and
unpredictable fantasies and responses of individuals from early childhood
onward.
• Kaplan and Kaplan have conducted extensive research on individual’s
preferences for different sort of landscapes(1973, 1977, 1983, 1987, 1989,
1992).
• Their findings point to the fact that people preferred natural environments
more than built environments and built environments with water, trees and
other vegetation more than built environments without such features.
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Introduction
The biophilia hypothesis
• Orians and Heerwagen (1992) have drawn on evolutionary theory to frame
their research hypothesis on landscape aesthetics
• They believe people have a generalized bias toward savanna-like
environment.
• If this bias exist, then people react positively to savannas even in the absence
of direct experience.
• Their results supported this hypothesis and the hypothesis was confirmed
by the study performed by Balling and Falk (1982)
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Introduction
The biophilia hypothesis
• Ulrich (1993) investigated environmental aesthetic, conducting a study on a psychiatric
hospital in Sweden on the effects of the visual representation of nature.
• Psychiatric patients responded favorably to wall art that involved nature but reacted
negatively to abstract paintings and paintings in which the content was ambiguous and
unintelligible.
• Other studies were conducted in prisons, dental offices and hospital point to the same
effects.
• Ulrich(1984) explored the differences in the recovery of patients after visual stimulation of
different types of nature picture.
•
• Their findings suggest that the patients exposed during surgery to the picture of an open
nature view experienced much less postoperative anxiety than the control
groups and the groups exposed to the other types of pictures
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Literature and review
The Happiness-Environment Economics Relationships.
Source:
New
Economics
Foundations Happy
Planet Index, 2012.
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Data and variables
The Analysis
• In the empirical part of our paper we aim to study the relationship between
“green” growth and happiness and the effects of environmental attitudes on
subjective well-being.
•
We explore the effects on happiness of environmental actions or attitudes
to prevent environmental pollution such as an increases in taxes; or other
contributions from income for the environment;
• We collected the data of 34 countries from two different sources: The World
Value Survey (WVS) and the World Bank . The WVS data were averaged at
the country level and then were merged with the country level data file from
the WB.
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Data and variables
The Estimates
•
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Empirical analysis
Variables used for our estimates
Dependent variable:
Satisfaction
All things considered,
how satisfied are you
with your life as a
whole these days?
1= dissatisfied
10= maximally
satisfied
World Value Survey
Income for the
Environment (inverted
scale)
Would give part of my
income for the
Environment
1=strongly agree
4=strongly disagree
World Value Survey
Increase in taxes
(inverted scale)
Increase in Taxes if
used to prevent
Environmental pollution
1=strongly agree
4=strongly disagree
World Value Survey
Health (inverted scale)
State of Health
(subjective)
1=very good
5=very poor
World Value Survey
Nature (anthrocentrism
vsus biocentrism)
Human & Nature
a)
a)
b)
Human beings
should master
nature
Human beings
should coexist with
nature
World Value Survey
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Empirical analysis
Variables used for our estimates
Satisfaction
Env. Economic growth
Protecting Environment
vs. Economic Growth
1= Protecting
Environment
2=Economic growth
and creating Jobs
3=Other Answers
World Value Survey
Terrestrial Protected
Areas
(%of total land area)
World Bank
GDP
Per capita (costant
2000US$)
World Bank
Employment
Total (%of total labour
force)
World Bank
Inflation
Consumer prices
(annual %)
World Bank
Life expectancy at birth
Total(years)
World Bank
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Empirical analysis
Variables used for our estimates
Satisfaction
Dummytime10
Year=1998
Dummytime11
Year=1999
Dummytime12
Year=2000
Dummytime13
Year=2001
Dummycountry2
Country= Argentina
Dummycountry3
Country= Australia
Dummycountry4
Country=Azerbaijan
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Empirical analysis
The Estimates
Dep. Variable
Satisfaction
employment
Inflation
(1)
-0.09***
(0.006)
Income-environment
Health
Env-economic growth
(3)
7.07***
(1.92)
-0.05***
(0.015)
-0.05***
(0.015)
-0.299***
(0.012)
-0.035***
(0.015)
0.05***
(0.02)
0.00
(0.002)
4.68***
(7.27)
0.002***
(0.00)
-0.00***
(0.00)
GDP
Increase Taxes
(2)
-0.09***
(0.09)
Nature (antrhocentrism versus
biocentrism)
Lifeexpencacy
Territorialareas
Dummytime10
Dummytime11
Dummytime12
Dummycountry3
Dummycountry4
N
R-squared
0.13***
(0.019)
0.010***
(0.001)
-0.38***
(0.22)
0.31***
(0.03)
0.02
(0.02)
0.44***
(0.03)
Dummytime13
Dummycountry2
-0.32***
(0.008)
-0.60
(0.38)
0.58***
(0.24)
-0.07
(0.24)
27084
0.0041
0.040
(0.045)
10228
0.02
-0.083***
(0.028)
-0.22***
(0.018)
-0.56
(0.39)
0.08
(0.31)
-0.02
(0.22)
18869
0.02
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Concluding remarks
Conclusions
• Our findings suggests that people in countries with a higher average
degree of happiness are also more willing to protect the environment
• We also found that the interest in human beings coexisting with nature
appears to positively influence subjective well-being.
• A positive relationship has been also found between terrestrial
protected areas and overall subjective well being.
• These results combine with traditional results on income , health,
• employment and inflation and appear robust with respect to
specifications
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Imperiali Alessandra - Facoltà di Economia