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Open AccessArticle

PM2.5 Concentrations and Subjective Well-Being: Longitudinal Evidence from Aggregated Panel Data from Chinese Provinces

by Pan Zhang 1,2,* and Zhiguo Wang 3,4
1
School of International and Public Affairs, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
2
China Institute for Urban Governance, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
3
School of Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong 999077, China
4
Business School, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong 999077, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1129; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071129
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 29 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing)
Although haze pollution with PM2.5 as the chief pollutant has become a critical threat worldwide, little research has examined the effects of PM2.5 concentrations on subjective well-being. Based on a longitudinal aggregated panel dataset from Chinese provinces, this study investigates the effects of PM2.5 concentrations on levels of happiness and the inequality of happiness. The results showed that high ground-level PM2.5 concentrations decreased the average level of happiness and high PM2.5 concentrations had stronger negative effects on the happiness of persons with high income than those with low income. In addition, PM2.5 concentrations were also significantly negatively related to inequality of happiness in Chinese provinces. Further empirical tests showed that the negative effects of PM2.5 concentrations on the inequality of happiness could be explained by the stronger influence of PM2.5 concentrations on the subjective well-being of individuals with a higher initial level of happiness than those with a lower initial level of happiness. This confirms that PM2.5 pollution can do harm to subjective well-being and reduce variations in the subjective well-being of individuals. The policy implications of controlling haze pollution and improving well-being are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: level of happiness; PM2.5; inequality of happiness; environmental governance level of happiness; PM2.5; inequality of happiness; environmental governance
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Zhang, P.; Wang, Z. PM2.5 Concentrations and Subjective Well-Being: Longitudinal Evidence from Aggregated Panel Data from Chinese Provinces. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1129.

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