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Title: Perceived environmental quality and subjective well-being: are African countries different from developed countries?

Authors: Iddisah Sulemana; Laura McCann; Harvey S. James Jr.

Addresses: The Business School, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, P.O. Box AH 50, Achimota, Accra, Ghana ' Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Missouri, 214B Mumford Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA ' Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Missouri, 214B Mumford Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA

Abstract: An important literature examines the effect of environmental quality on self-reported measures of well-being. Some studies have focused on objective indicators of environmental quality, while other studies have explored how perceptions about environmental quality are correlated with happiness. However, there is little research examining the relationship between perceptions of environmental quality and subjective well-being in African countries. In this paper, we examine how people's perceptions about local environmental quality (poor water, poor air, and poor sanitation/sewer) and global environmental quality (global warming, loss of animal and plant species, and pollution of water bodies) are correlated with their well-being in a cross-country sample using data from the World Values Survey. We find a negative correlation between perceptions about the poorness of local environmental quality and subjective well-being for both developed and African countries. However, only in developed countries is there a negative correlation between perceptions about the poorness of global environmental quality and subjective well-being.

Keywords: Africa; developed countries; developing countries; happiness; perceived environmental quality; PEQ; subjective wellbeing; SWB; water quality; drinking water; air quality; air pollution; sanitation; sewerage; species loss; water pollution.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHD.2016.076209

International Journal of Happiness and Development, 2016 Vol.3 No.1, pp.64 - 87

Available online: 29 Apr 2016

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