Internal Migration, Environmental Amenities and Life Satisfaction : Theoretical Linkages, Empirical Evidence and Methodological Advances

This dissertation is designed to provide new insights from the application of the life satisfaction approach to valuing amenities and to enhance the provisioning of policy implications by presenting methodological advances. The dissertation is divided into two parts: Part 1 comprises three papers that link empirical life-satisfaction analyses on internal migration to economic theory and assess benefits deriving from changes in regional and environmental amenities. The first paper links economic theory with life-satisfaction analyses referring to internal migration and reassesses earlier empirical findings. The second paper uses the empirical life satisfaction approach to valuing changes in natural land cover. The third paper analyzes changes in life satisfaction as a result of moving to a greener living area. The paper in part 2 of the dissertation proposes methodological advances with respect to the measurement of the effect of income on life satisfaction. This paper presents and applies an instrumental variable strategy by matching households based on their investment decisions, which is derived from Friedman’s concept of permanent income.


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