Well-Being Effects of Extreme Weather Events in the United States
Posted: 28 Jan 2017 Last revised: 21 Apr 2018
Date Written: October 9, 2017
We match forty-two billion-dollar disasters with individual survey data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System between 2005 and 2010 to estimate the effect of extreme weather events on the subjective well-being of U.S. residents Our results indicate that natural disasters have a negative and robust impact on subjective well-being, and that this impact decays over time, disappearing 6 to 8 months after the event. Finding severe storms as the main culprit in the reduction of individual life satisfaction in our sample, we show that their impact diminishes further than 50 km from the affected counties. We then investigate the attenuating impact of health care access and natural-peril insurance and find a partial compensating role for both protective measures.
Keywords: Subjective well-being, extreme weather, disasters, climate change
JEL Classification: Q54, I31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation