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Well-Being for Public Policy$
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Ed Diener, Richard Lucas, Ulrich Schimmack, and John Helliwell

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195334074

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195334074.001.0001

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The Environment and Well-Being: Policy Examples

The Environment and Well-Being: Policy Examples

(p.147) Chapter 9 The Environment and Well-Being: Policy Examples
Well-Being for Public Policy

Ed Diener

Richard E. Lucas

Ulrich Schimmack

John F. Helliwell

Oxford University Press

One of the most pressing policy concerns in the world is the health of the environment, and the problems for the environment caused by economic development and population growth. We describe four specific policy areas that might be enlightened by referring to well-being measures: the impact of aircraft noise, the effects of air pollution, problems arising in conjunction with commuting, and the influence of parks and green spaces on well-being. In each of these instances, existing well-being data indicate that the subjective well-being of people is influenced by environmental conditions, and measures of well-being are one method by which interventions to correct environmental problems can be assessed. Furthermore, well-being measures can help suggest which of various interventions might be most effective in ameliorating the problems. It is emphasized that the existing well-being data are often not sufficient for fully informing policy discussions. Rather, the potential for adequate data, when it becomes available, to inform policy is emphasized.

Keywords:   air pollution, commuting, environment, green space, parks, well-being

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