Conceptualizing externalities from perceived nuclear risk as being related to distance from nuclear facilities, we estimate the relationship between Swiss citizens' life satisfaction (understood as a proxy of utility) and the distance of their place of residence from the nearest nuclear power plant. Controlling for a rich set of life satisfaction factors, we find a statistically and economically significant satisfaction-distance gradient, whose monetary value amounts to CHF 291 per kilometer of distance, on average. The gradient is smaller for those who may feel protected by wind direction and topographical conditions, and it differs by age, sex, and the level of education. The satisfaction-distance gradient has changed significantly after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan, indicating a reassessment of distance-dependent nuclear risk. We find no evidence of hedonic locational equilibrium with respect to nuclear risk.
nuclear risk life satisfaction non-market valuation spatial equilibrium Fukushima