The Impact of Electricity Transmission Infrastructure on Households’ Well-Being

Luis Sarmiento, Aleksandar Zaklan, and Alexander Zerrahn

Working paper expected in summer 2020


This paper evaluates the external effects of high-voltage electricity transmission infrastructure on individuals’ well-being using the life-satisfaction approach. We construct a novel dataset by mapping geo-coded information on almost all German high-voltage pylons to representative household data on subjective well-being from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). In a difference-in-differences design, we identify the causal effect of proximity to pylons on subjective well-being by exploiting spatial and temporal variation in the construction of pylons. We find that living closer than 1,500 meters to high-voltage power lines statistically significantly decreases individuals’ well-being.

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