Greenhouse gas emissions and subjective well-being: an analysis of Swedish households

Andersson, D., Nässén, J., Larsson, J., & Holmberg, J. (2014). Greenhouse gas emissions and subjective well-being: An analysis of Swedish households. Ecological Economics, 102, 75–82. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.03.018

Publication type
Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
WISE Well-being in Sustainable cities
DOI Title
Greenhouse gas emissions and subjective well-being: An analysis of Swedish households
Ecological Economics
David Andersson Jonas Nässén Jörgen Larsson John Holmberg
Published year
Economics and Econometrics General Environmental Science
Subjective well-being Household greenhouse gas emission Double diviends Materialistic values



In the contemporary discussion on society's transformation towards long-term climate targets, it is often implicitly assumed that behavioral changes, unlike technological changes, would lead to reductions in human well-being. However, this assumption has been questioned by researchers, who instead argue that people may live better lives by consuming less and reduce their environmental impact in the process. In this study we explore the relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and subjective well-being, using a sample of 1000 Swedish respondents.

Our results show that there is no strong link between an individual's emissions and subjective wellbeing. We also analyze the relationship between specific emission-intensive activities and subjective well-being and find that none of the activities examined correlates with subjective well-being. Finally, we explore a hypothesis put forward in the literature, suggesting that a poor work-life balance, long commuting distances, and materialistic values may decrease individuals' subjective well-being and increase greenhouse gas emissions. Our results indicate that materialistic values do correlate with lower levels of well-being and to some extent also with higher greenhouse gas emissions.

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