Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    Understanding and measuring quality of life in Ireland : sustainability, happiness and well-being
    In the last decade, the ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy grew at a record rate for a developed country.Nevertheless, there has been much concern regarding the implications of the pace of economic growth for localised environmental quality and life satisfaction generally. It has long been recognised by economists, psychologists and others that traditional macro-measures of national income such as GDP and GNP are inadequate measures of the performance of an economy and wider society – such measures are unable to give value to environmental and social capital and are unable to capture the performance of a country in sustainability terms. The briefing note outlines the various approaches to measuring quality of life and sustainability for Ireland specifically focusing on a modified genuine savings approach and the use of life satisfaction scores to measure well-being and individual happiness with life. The paper presents results for Ireland. Finally, the paper discusses the importance of this research for developing an evidence-base for public policy and sets out the need for investment in such research.
  • Publication
    Environmental amenities and subjective well-being : testing the validity of hedonic pricing
    (University College Dublin. Planning and Environmental Policy, 2006-06) ; ;
    This paper proposes a subjective well-being approach to test the equilibrium condition implicit in hedonic pricing. Contrary to the conclusions of previous studies, we show that both approaches are not complementary but, rather, they are alternative ways of computing implicit prices of environmental amenities. They are equivalent when the equilibrium condition holds but, in the absence of such equilibrium, only the subjective well-being approach is theoretically correct. In an empirical application, we find that (i) the total impact of location-specific amenities on self-reported well-being is not fully captured through compensating differentials in labor and housing markets, indicating that implicit prices derived using the hedonic approach would be incorrect and thus suggesting caution in its application, and (ii) environmental factors are as important as the most critical socio-economic and socio-demographic factors in explaining subjective well-being.
  • Publication
    A spatial econometric analysis of well-being using a geographical information systems approach
    (University College Dublin. Planning and Enviornmental Policy, 2006-07) ; ;
    In recent years, economists have being using socio-economic and socio-demographic characteristics to explain self-reported individual happiness or satisfaction with life. Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS), we employ data disaggregated at the individual and local level to show that while these variables are important, consideration of amenities such as climate, environmental and urban conditions is critical when analyzing subjective wellbeing. Location-specific factors are shown to have a direct impact on life satisfaction. Most importantly, however, the explanatory power of our happiness function substantially increases when the spatial variables are included, highlighting the importance of the role of the spatial dimension in determining well-being. This may have potentially important implications for setting priorities for public policy as, in essence, improving well-being could be considered to be the ultimate goal of public policy.
  • Publication
    Quality of life and location-specific amenities : a subjective well-being approach
    (University College Dublin. Department of Planning and Environmental Policy, 2005-07) ; ;
    In recent years, economists have started using socio-economic and socio-demographic characteristics to explain self-reported individual happiness or satisfaction with life. Using data disaggregated at the individual and regional level, this paper shows that while these variables are relevant, consideration of amenities such as climate, environmental and urban conditions, typically employed in hedonic wage and housing regressions, is critical when analysing subjective well-being. Location-specific factors are shown to have a direct impact on life satisfaction, suggesting that their effect on quality of life is not fully captured by compensating differentials in housing and labour markets.
  • Publication
    Quality of life and the environment : final report
    The study examines objective indicators associated with quality of life in Ireland. As noted above, these include indicators of environmental quality, income, house prices, health, education and crime. The analysis then moves on to compare these objective indicators with subjective indicators as revealed through the use of a public survey and further qualitative analysis based on focus-group discussions. The intention, therefore, was to compare the objective measures with peoples perception of these indicators and their own subjective assessment of personal well-being. This comparison is not performed as often as it should be in discussions of quality of life. A factor analysis of subjective indices of quality of life based on public survey data and incorporating measures of income/employment, family status, domestic environment, subjective well-being and planning/infrastructure. This report has been prepared as part of the Environmental Research Technological Development and Innovation (ERTDI) Programme 2000-2006. Available At: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland