Life-Cycle and Cohort Effects in the Valuation of Air Quality: Evidence from Subjective Well-being Data

Tobias Menz and Heinz Welsch


By using data on self-rated life satisfaction as an empirical indicator of well-being, this paper estimates the valuation of two major air pollutants differentiated by people’s age category (stage in the life cycle) and birth cohort. Life satisfaction regressions involving about 59,000 individuals in 10 European countries, 1990–1997, imply that, consistent with epidemiological evidence, both life-cycle and cohort effects exist in the valuation of air quality. The age and cohort dependence of the sensitivity to air pollution translates into considerable differences in the valuation of clean air. (JEL Q51, Q53)

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