This study focuses on PM2.5, a key indicator of air pollution, in three countries at different stages of economic development (India, China, and Japan) to empirically elucidate the impact of PM2.5 concentrations on subjective well-being. We identify two types of effects that PM2.5 may have on people's subjective well-being: health-related effects and non-health-related effects. We obtain statistically significant results for health-related effects for China and India; for non-health-related effects, we obtain statistically significant results only for Japan. Notably, we observe that in China, life satisfaction is significantly reduced by health-related effects, even if the PM2.5 concentrations are lower than the domestic standard. This finding suggests that, from the viewpoint of health, more stringent environmental standards are required in China. For Japan, we find that life satisfaction is reduced by non-health-related effects when the pollution level exceeds the domestic environmental standard. This suggests the importance of efforts to reduce the level of pollution in Japan to meet the domestic environmental standard, even if there are no health-related effects. Our results thus indicate that to improve life satisfaction, when we set environmental standards, we need to consider not only health-related problems but also people's sense of crisis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)