Natural Hazards and Well-Being in a Small-Scale Island Society

Lohmann, Paul, Pondorfer, Andreas and Rehdanz, Katrin (2019) Natural Hazards and Well-Being in a Small-Scale Island Society Ecological Economics, 159 . pp. 344-353. DOI 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.12.023.

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The literature investigating the relationship between natural hazards and individuals' subjective well-being has so far focused on industrialized countries. Using the life-satisfaction approach, this paper is the first to study the link between natural hazards, in particular heavy storms and droughts, and subjective well-being for a small-scale island society in the Pacific Ocean. Results indicate that the experience of drought markedly diminished life satisfaction, whereas the experience of storms had only somewhat negative impact. The primary driver of the negative well-being impact appeared to be damage experience for both storms and droughts. Since regular cash-income did not exist for the majority of the population, the marginal effect could not be calculated in monetary terms. To account for differences in wealth across respondents, we developed a wealth index in the form of a simple ‘asset score’. Comparing the marginal effect of the hazard variables with our measure of wealth, the positive marginal effect of doubling the number of household assets was significantly smaller than the negative impact of drought experience on subjective well-being.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Subjective well-being, Life satisfaction, Natural hazards, Extreme weather Events, Small-island society
Research affiliation: Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.12.023
ISSN: 0921-8009
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2019 09:34
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2019 13:12

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