Forest fire danger, life satisfaction and feelings of safety: evidence from AustraliaChristopher L. Ambrey A , Christopher M. Fleming B D and Matthew Manning C
A Institute for Social Science Research, Long Pocket Precinct, 80 Meiers Road, Indooroopilly, University of Queensland, Qld 4068, Australia.
B Griffith Business School, South Bank campus, 226 Grey Street, South Brisbane, Griffith University, Qld 4101, Australia.
C ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods, Beryl Rawson Building, Australian National University, ACT 2601, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: email@example.com
International Journal of Wildland Fire - https://doi.org/10.1071/WF16195
Submitted: 6 September 2016 Accepted: 4 February 2017 Published online: 27 February 2017
Employing data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey and the McArthur Forest Fire Danger Index, this study tests: (1) the association between forest fire danger and an individual’s life satisfaction; (2) the association between forest fire danger and an individual’s feeling of safety; and (3) whether the association between forest fire danger and an individual’s life satisfaction is explained by feelings of safety. Further, this study employs the experienced preference method to estimate, in monetary terms, the psychological costs associated with forest fire danger. We find negative and significant associations between life satisfaction and forest fire danger, as well as between forest fire danger and feelings of safety. When feelings of safety are included in the life satisfaction regression, however, the forest fire danger variable is no longer statistically significant – suggesting that the link between forest fire danger and life satisfaction can be largely explained by an individual’s feelings of safety. The experienced preference method yields an implicit willingness-to-pay of $10 per year to avoid a one unit increase in the spatially weighted average of the average daily value of the Fire Danger Index over the previous 12 months.
Additional keywords: experienced preference method, Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, willingness-to-pay.
ReferencesAmbrey C, Fleming C (2011) Valuing scenic amenity using life satisfaction data. Ecological Economics 72, 106–115.
| Valuing scenic amenity using life satisfaction data.CrossRef |
Ambrey C, Fleming C (2014a) The causal effect of income on life satisfaction and the implications for valuing non-market goods. Economics Letters 123, 131–134.
| The causal effect of income on life satisfaction and the implications for valuing non-market goods.CrossRef |
Ambrey C, Fleming C (2014b) Life satisfaction in Australia: evidence from ten years of the HILDA survey. Social Indicators Research 115, 691–714.
| Life satisfaction in Australia: evidence from ten years of the HILDA survey.CrossRef |
Ambrey C, Fleming C, Chan A (2014) Estimating the cost of air pollution in South East Queensland: an application of the life satisfaction non-market valuation approach. Ecological Economics 97, 172–181.
| Estimating the cost of air pollution in South East Queensland: an application of the life satisfaction non-market valuation approach.CrossRef |
Ambrey C, Ulichny J, Fleming C (2016) The social connectedness and life satisfaction nexus: a panel data analysis of women in Australia. Feminist Economics
| The social connectedness and life satisfaction nexus: a panel data analysis of women in Australia.CrossRef |
Austin D, Woolever C, Baba Y (1994) Crime and safety-related concerns in a small community. American Journal of Criminal Justice 19, 79–97.
| Crime and safety-related concerns in a small community.CrossRef |
Baetschmann G, Staub K, Winkelmann R (2015) Consistent estimation of the fixed effects ordered logit model. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A, (Statistics in Society) 178, 685–703.
| Consistent estimation of the fixed effects ordered logit model.CrossRef |
Bryant R, Waters E, Gibbs L, Gallagher C, Pattison P, Lusher D, MacDougall C, Harms L, Block K, Snowdon E, Sinnott V, Ireton G, Richardson J, Forbes D (2014) Psychological outcomes following the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 48, 634–643.
| Psychological outcomes following the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires.CrossRef |
Carroll N, Frijters P, Shields M (2009) Quantifying the costs of drought: new evidence from life satisfaction data. Journal of Population Economics 22, 445–461.
| Quantifying the costs of drought: new evidence from life satisfaction data.CrossRef |
Country Fire Authority (2012). About Black Saturday. Available at http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/black-saturday/ [Verified 15 January 2016]
Deloitte Access Economics (2014). Scoping study on a cost benefit analysis of bushfire mitigation. Available at http://ausfpa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/AFPA-DAE-report-Amended-Final-2014-05-27.pdf [Verified 20 October 2016]
Dickerson A, Hole A, Munford L (2014) The relationship between well-being and commuting revisited: does the choice of methodology matter? Regional Science and Urban Economics 49, 321–329.
| The relationship between well-being and commuting revisited: does the choice of methodology matter?CrossRef |
Frey B, Luechinger S, Stutzer A (2010) The life satisfaction approach to environmental valuation. Annual Review of Resource Economics 2, 139–160.
| The life satisfaction approach to environmental valuation.CrossRef |
Gallagher C, Richardson J, Forbes D, Harms L, Gibbs L, Alkemade N, MacDougall C, Waters E, Block K, Lusher D, Baker E, Bryant R (2016) Mental health following separation in a disaster: the role of attachment. Journal of Traumatic Stress 29, 56–64.
| Mental health following separation in a disaster: the role of attachment.CrossRef |
Gibbs L (2014). Five years on from Black Saturday, most survivors are doing OK. Available at https://theconversation.com/five-years-on-from-black-saturday-most-survivors-are-doing-ok-33600 [Verified 24 April 2014]
Headey B, Muffels R, Wagner G (2013) Choices which change life satisfaction: similar results for Australia, Britain and Germany. Social Indicators Research 112, 725–748.
| Choices which change life satisfaction: similar results for Australia, Britain and Germany.CrossRef |
Helliwell J (2003) How’s life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being. Economic Modelling 20, 331–360.
| How’s life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being.CrossRef |
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014). Climate change 2014 – impacts, adaptation and vulnerability: regional aspects. (Cambridge University Press: New York)
Kahneman D, Wakker P, Sarin R (1997) Back to Bentham? Explorations of experienced utility. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 112, 375–405.
| Back to Bentham? Explorations of experienced utility.CrossRef |
King D, Ginger J, Williams S, Cottrell A, Gurtner Y, Leitch C, Henderson D, Jayasinghe N, Kim P, Booth K, Ewin C, Innes K, Jacobs K, Jago-Bassingthwaighte M, Jackson L. (2012). Planning, building and insuring: adaptation of built environment to climate change induced increased intensity of natural hazards. (National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility: Gold Coast, Qld) Available at https://www.nccarf.edu.au/publications/planning-building-insuring-adaptation [Verified 6 February 2017]
Kountouris Y, Remoundou K (2011) Valuing the welfare cost of forest fires: a life satisfaction approach. Kyklos 64, 556–578.
| Valuing the welfare cost of forest fires: a life satisfaction approach.CrossRef |
Lucas C (2010) On developing a historical fire weather data-set for Australia. Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal 60, 1–14.
Luechinger S, Raschky P (2009) Valuing flood disasters using the life satisfaction approach. Journal of Public Economics 93, 620–633.
| Valuing flood disasters using the life satisfaction approach.CrossRef |
Milne M, Clayton H, Dovers S, Cary G (2014) Evaluating benefits and costs of wildland fires: Critical review and future applications. Environmental Hazards 13, 114–132.
| Evaluating benefits and costs of wildland fires: Critical review and future applications.CrossRef |
Riedl M, Geishecker I (2014) Keep it simple: estimation strategies for ordered response models with fixed effects. Journal of Applied Statistics 41, 2358–2374.
| Keep it simple: estimation strategies for ordered response models with fixed effects.CrossRef |
Shields M, Price S, Wooden M (2009) Life satisfaction and the economic and social characteristics of neighbourhoods. Journal of Population Economics 22, 421–443.
| Life satisfaction and the economic and social characteristics of neighbourhoods.CrossRef |
Steffen W, Hughes L, Perkins S (2014). Heatwaves: hotter, longer, more often. Available at http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/uploads/9901f6614a2cac7b2b888f55b4dff9cc.pdf [Verified 23 February 2016]
Teague B, McLeod R, Pascoe S (2010). 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission Final Report. Available at http://www.royalcommission.vic.gov.au/Commission-Reports/Final-Report [Verified 30 August 2016]
van Praag B, Baarsma B (2005) Using happiness surveys to value intangibles: the case of airport noise. Economic Journal (London) 115, 224–246.
| Using happiness surveys to value intangibles: the case of airport noise.CrossRef |
Watson N, Wooden M (2002). The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey: Wave 1 survey methodology. HILDA Project Technical Paper Series No. 1/02. (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research: Melbourne)
Weinberg M, Cummins R (2012). The wellbeing of Australians – bushfires and floods: following up the effects of fires in Victoria and floods in Queensland. (Deakin University, School of Psychology, Australian Centre on Quality of Life, Australian Unity: Melbourne)
Welsch H, Ferreira S (2014). Environment, well-being, and experienced preference. Department of Economics Working Paper No. v-367–14. (University of Oldenburg: Oldenburg, Germany)
Whittaker J, Haynes K, Handmer J, McLennan J (2013) Community safety during the 2009 Australian ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires: an analysis of household preparedness and response. International Journal of Wildland Fire 22, 841–849.
| Community safety during the 2009 Australian ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires: an analysis of household preparedness and response.CrossRef |