The hedonistic cost of the Black Saturday bushfires

This study employs the experienced preference method to quantify the hedonistic cost of the Black Saturday bushfires, which started on and around the 7th of February 2009 in Victoria, Australia. Using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey and data from Geographic Information Systems (GIS) this study explores the spatial and temporal dimensions of the hedonistic costs of the Black Saturday Bushfires, a natural experiment. Specifically, this study reveals the size and nature of the psychological cost borne by those living near fire effected land. In doing so, this study makes a distinct contribution to both the non-market valuation literature and the economics of happiness literature. It is envisaged that the findings of this study will help inform decision makers, public debate and public policy on the magnitude and characteristics of the psychological costs associated with Black Saturday bushfires. Furthermore, these findings are more generally pertinent to understanding how the increased risks of bushfires caused by anthropogenic climate change may adversely affect human welfare.

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JEL Codes:
I31; Q51; Q57

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2019-08-30

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