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How big a problem is noise pollution? A brief happiness analysis by a perturbable economist

Weinhold, Diana (2008): How big a problem is noise pollution? A brief happiness analysis by a perturbable economist.

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Abstract

We approach the question of the costs of everyday residential noise pollution by examining a series of ‘happiness regressions.’ Following standard approaches, we use a range of socio-economic data to explain respondents’ declared level of life satisfaction, and then add perceived noise pollution into the analysis. In the process we replicate the observed patterns from other studies of this type. We find noise to exert a negative and highly significant effect on happiness, approximately of the same order of magnitude as being disabled. Using some rough and ready calculations, we find the monetary equivalent costs of noise pollution to be on the order of €170 per month per household.

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