Economics at your fingertips  

Linking individuals' ecological footprint to their subjective well-being

Elsy Verhofstadt, L. Van Ootegem, B. Defloor and Brent Bleys

Ecological Economics, 2016, vol. 127, issue C, 80-89

Abstract: Sustainable development poses a major challenge to Western societies as many of their citizens have lifestyles with resource use beyond the earth's carrying capacity. Sustainability transitions will be easier to implement if they also increase individuals' well-being. We investigate the relation between the ecological footprint and the subjective well-being at the individual level, using a questionnaire carried out in Flanders (Belgium). Our results suggest that a lower footprint does not reduce well-being in the sense that we find no significant correlation. In a next step, we investigate the direct impacts of the different ecological footprint components on subjective well-being. Switching to a more environmentally friendly diet and not using electricity for domestic heating create win–win situations as these actions decrease the ecological footprint while increasing reported levels of well-being. Finally, we investigate the socio-demographic determinants of the ecological footprint and subjective well-being to look for indirect impacts. Having a relationship and being a house owner increase subjective well-being and decrease the ecological footprint. Better social life and health and living in a pleasant environment increase subjective well-being with no cost in terms of ecological footprint.

Keywords: Subjective well-being; Ecological footprint; Individual level (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (26)

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.03.021

Access Statistics for this article

Ecological Economics is currently edited by C. J. Cleveland

More articles in Ecological Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2024-05-08
Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:127:y:2016:i:c:p:80-89