The impact of climate on life satisfaction

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We analyse the influence of climate on average life satisfaction in 79 countries using data from the World Values Survey. Climate is described in terms of 'degree-months' calculated as the cumulated monthly deviations from a base temperature of 65 degrees F (18.3 degrees C). Our results suggest that countries with climates characterised by a large number of degree-months enjoy significantly lower levels of life satisfaction. This finding is robust to a wide variety of model specifications. Using our results to analyse a particular climate change scenario associated with the IPCC A2 emissions scenario points to major losses for African countries, but modest gains for Northern Europe. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2437-2445
Number of pages9
JournalEcological Economics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2011


  • Survey data, Climate change, Climate, Life satisfaction, Happiness

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