Exposure to Climate Shocks, Poverty and Happiness: The ”Three Little Pigs” Effect

Becchetti LeonardoMancini SaraSavastano Sara
CEIS Research Paper
We evaluate the impact of climate shocks on household subjective wellbeing on a sample of farmers in a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) of the Pacific (the Solomon Islands). We find that both subjective (self-assessed exposure to climate shocks) and objective (past cumulative extended dry spells) environmental stress indicators significantly reduce respondent’s subjective wellbeing. Using the compensating surplus approach we calculate that this loss requires several years of crop income to be compensated. Subjective wellbeing is more severely impacted for farmers with poor dwellings (ie. with thatch walls, consistently with the well known Disney tale), below median income or durable asset and for farmers living more isolated and not being members of formal agricultural associations. Farmers hit by climate shocks experienced in significantly higher proportion nutrition problems in their households. These findings support the hypothesis of the strong interdependence between environmental and social shocks.

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Number: 537
Keywords: climate shock, subjective wellbeing, compensating surplus, small scale Pacific islands.
JEL codes: I31, Q01, Q20
Volume: 20
Issue: 3
Date: Saturday, April 2, 2022
Revision Date: Saturday, April 2, 2022