Evaluating wildfire exposure: using wellbeing data to estimate and value the impacts of wildfire

David W. Johnston, Yasin Kürşat Önder, Muhammad Habibur Rahman, Mehmet A. Ulubaşoğlu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper estimates the wellbeing effects of the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires, the deadliest wildfire event in Australia's known history. Using subjective wellbeing data from a nationally representative longitudinal study and adopting an individual fixed-effects approach, our results identify a significant reduction in life satisfaction for individuals residing in close proximity of the wildfires. The negative wellbeing effect is valued at A$52,300. This corresponds to 80% of the average annual income of a full-time employed adult in the state of Victoria. The satisfaction domain most negatively affected is how safe the person feels, and the group most affected are people with low social support. A delayed adverse mental health effect is also identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-798
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Georeferencing
  • Life satisfaction
  • Wildfires

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