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Subjective Well-being and Environmental Quality: The Impact of Air Pollution and Green Coverage in China

Liang Yuan, Kongjoo Shin and Shunsuke Managi

Ecological Economics, 2018, vol. 153, issue C, 124-138

Abstract: Rapid environmental degradation is a well-publicized issue, particularly in rapidly developing countries. This study examines the impact of air pollution and green coverage on people's subjective well-being (SWB) in China using self-reported life satisfaction (LS) from survey data combined with the city-level air quality index (AQI) and green coverage data. The results show that air pollution and green coverage are significantly negatively and positively correlated with LS, respectively. The total effect of green coverage on life satisfaction constitute of a direct effect of green space itself and indirect effects through improving air pollution and health. The implicit monetary valuations of a 1-unit reduction in the AQI and a 1% increase in green coverage according to the respondent's annual gross individual income are approximately 239–280 USD (1.7%–2.0%) and 420–444 USD (3.0%–3.2%), respectively. The results also indicate that the average benefit from a 1% change in green coverage for people with a poor subjective health evaluation is almost 2 times higher than that for their counterparts.

Keywords: Air pollution; Air quality index; Subjective well-being; Life satisfaction; Green coverage; Subjective health evaluation; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.04.033

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