Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2015: Ökonomische Entwicklung - Theorie und Politik - Session: Modelling Causal Effects F08-V1
This paper investigates the effect of wind turbines on residential well-being in Germany, using panel data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and a unique, novel data set on wind turbines for the time period between 2000 and 2012. Using a Geographical Information System (GIS), it calculates the distance from households to the nearest wind turbines to determine whether an individual is affected by disamenities, e.g. through visual pollution. The depth of our unique, novel data set on wind turbines, which has been collected at the regional level and which includes, besides their exact geographical coordinates, their construction dates, allows estimating the causal effect of wind turbines on residential well-being, using difference-in-difference propensity-score and spatial matching techniques. We demonstrate that the construction of a new wind turbine in a treatment area of 4000 metres around households has a significantly negative impact on life satisfaction. Moreover, this effect is found to be of transitory nature. Contrasting the implicit monetary valuation with the damage through CO2 emissions avoided by wind turbines, wind power turns out to be a favorable technology despite robust evidence for negative externalities.