Publications Working papers Other Press

  Economics    Energy and Environment   Physics
21. C. P. Barrington-Leigh, ``Comprendre l'égalité par le bien-être: le cas du Québec'', Miser sur l'égalité, l'Institut du Nouveau Monde, 2014
The preface and conclusion from the book are available.
English version (PDF) En français (PDF)
20. ``Consumption Externalities'', Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research, Michalos, Alex C. (Ed.), Springer, 2014.
This is an encyclopedia entry with a focus on relative income effects, which is often now what economists mean when they refer to consumption externalities. Usually "externalities" refers instead to some form of production externality.
19. Lara B. Aknin, C. P. Barrington-Leigh, Elizabeth W. Dunn, John F. Helliwell, Robert Biswas-Diener, Imelda Kemeza, Paul Nyende, Claire Ashton-James, Michael I. Norton,
``Prosocial Spending and Well-Being: Cross-Cultural Evidence for a Psychological Universal'', Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 104(4), Apr 2013, 635-652.
Correlations in survey data from 136 countries are complemented by experiments carried out in Canada, Uganda, and South Africa to suggest that human beings around the world derive emotional benefits from using their financial resources to help others (prosocial spending).
A (much older) version (2010) was issued as an NBER working paper.
APA-PDF and supplement manuscript (PDF) appendix
18. ``The Québec convergence and Canadian life satisfaction 1985--2008,'' Canadian Public Policy / Analyse de Politiques, Vol. 39., No. 2, June 2013. DOI: 10.3138/CPP.39.2.193
Using 25 years of the Canadian General Social Survey, I examine trends in life satisfaction and economic and social variables and find that Québec has undergone a remarkable upward shift in mean life satisfaction, as compared with the rest of Canada, during this period. The shift is not easy to explain with conventional economic indices.
Video animations in English and French are available to show the evolution over time.:
Presentation (PDF) from 30 May 2012 "Forum Vers un indicateur officiel du mieux-vivre québécois", Quebec City. An older (2010) version of the paper is available (and includes an analysis of consistency over time of inferences about local communities).
CPP PDF 27pp printable PDF 29pp PDF w/ appendix 165pp
17 Matthew Brown, Christopher Barrington-Leigh, Zosia Brown, ``Kernel Regression for Real-Time Building Energy Analysis'', Journal of Building Performance Simulation, June 2011. DOI: 10.1080/19401493.2011.577539

16. ``How much is social capital worth?'' (with John F. Helliwell), a chapter in The Social Cure: Identity, Health, and Well-being, edited by Jolanda Jetten, Catherine Haslam, and S. Alexander Haslam, 2011.
NBER w/appendix
15. ``Cutting through the Clutter: Searching for an Over-Arching Measure of Well-Being'' (with Jon Hall and John F. Helliwell), CESifo DICE Report, Vol. 8, Issue 4, 2011.
14. ``Measuring and Understanding Subjective Well-Being'' (with John F. Helliwell), Canadian Journal of Economics, Vol. 43, Issue 3, pp. 729-753, August 2010.
CJE NBER w/appendix
13. ``International evidence on the social context of well-being'' (with John F. Helliwell, Anthony Harris, and Haifang Huang), a chapter in International Differences in Well-Being, edited by Kahneman, Diener and Helliwell (Oxford University Press), 2010. NBER w/appendix
12. Smith, David M., Liliana I. Lopez, R. P. Lin, and Christopher P. Barrington-Leigh, ``Terrestrial Gamma-Ray Flashes Observed up to 20 MeV'', Science, Vol 307, Issue 5712, Feb 2005.
Science-PDF HTML
11. Moore, Robert C., C. P. Barrington-Leigh, U. S. Inan, and T. F. Bell, ``Early/Fast VLF Events Produced by Electron Density Changes Associated with Sprite Halos'', J. Geophys. Res. 108,, No. A10, 1363, Oct. 2003.
JGR-PDF abstract
10. Lin RP, et al., ``The Reuven Ramaty high-energy solar spectroscopic imager (RHESSI)'', Solar Physics, 210 (1-2): 3-32 Nov 2002.
SolPhys-PDF abstract
9. Barrington-Leigh, C. P., V. P. Pasko, and U. S. Inan, ``Exponential relaxation of optical emissions in sprites'', J. Geophys. Res. 107, No. A5, May 2002. hyper-PDF JGR-PDF
8. Barrington-Leigh, C. P., U. S. Inan, and M. Stanley, ``Identification of Sprites and Elves with Intensified Video and Broadband Array Photometry'', J. Geophys. Res. 106, No. 2, February, 2001. hyper-PDF JGR-PDF
7. Gerken, E. A., U. S. Inan, C. P. Barrington-Leigh, ``Telescopic imaging of sprites'', Geophys. Res. Lett. Vol. 27, No. 17, September 1, 2000. PDF GRL-PDF
6. Barrington-Leigh, C. P., U. S. Inan, M. Stanley, and S. A. Cummer, ``Sprites triggered by negative lightning discharges'', Geophys. Res. Lett. 26, No. 24, December 1999. PDF GRL-PDF HTML
5. Barrington-Leigh, C. P., and U. S. Inan, ``Elves triggered by positive and negative lightning discharges'', Geophys. Res. Lett. 26, No. 6, March 1999. PDF GRL-PDF HTML
4. Cummer, S. A., U. S. Inan, T. F. Bell, C. P. Barrington-Leigh, ``ELF radiation produced by electrical currents in sprites,'' Geophys. Res. Lett. 25, No. 8 , p. 1281, April 15, 1998. PDF GRL-PDF
3. Inan, U.S., C. P. Barrington-Leigh, S. Hansen, V.S. Glukhov, T.F. Bell, and R. Rairden, ``Rapid Lateral Expansion of Optical Luminosity in Lightning-Induced Ionospheric Flashes Referred to as `Elves,' '', Geophys. Res. Lett., 24, 5, pp. 583-586, 1997. PDF GRL-PDF HTML
2. Abela, Marc, et al. Ra: The Sun for Science and Humanity, International Space University, 1996.
Executive Summary and TOC
1. Barrington-Leigh, C. P., ``A Mountaineering Accident: Not So Sticky After All'', The Physics Teacher, 30, Number 5, May 1992.
PT-PDF toc


Draft research papers Publications Other Press

July 2013 ``Renewable energy potential in Canada: a spatial inventory'' (with Mark Ouliaris)

Jan 2013 ``Labour and industry effects of the carbon pricing system in Québec''

April 2013 ``Quantity or quantile? A global study of income, status, and happiness'' Income, status, and happiness: a global study of pecking order
Analysis of individual subjective well-being data from 149 countries challenges the canonical assumption that the effect of income on life evaluations is best captured by a log income form. I discuss the possibility of overwhelming and global consumption externalities, based on normal interpretation of life evaluation data.
October 2010 ``Economic inequality and subjective well-being''
Countries vary in the degree to which dispersion of incomes relates to dispersion of subjective well-being. Gallup World Poll data from 136 countries are used to assess who benefits or suffers from a greater or lesser degree of such inequality.

Aug 2008 ``Weather as a transient influence on survey-reported satisfaction with life''
Local weather conditions experienced by survey respondents on the day of the interview are used to assess the size of any bias resulting from transient affective influences on subjective response data and to test the validity of statistical inference about the determinants of subjective well-being.

Jan 2008 ``Veblen goods and neighbourhoods: endogenising consumption reference groups''
This is a theory paper looking at the implications for endogenous sorting and welfare when preferences involve strong consumption externalities with one's neighbours.

Dec 2008 ``Empathy and emulation: life satisfaction and the urban geography of comparison groups'' (NBER working paper 14593)
This is an empirical study using life satisfaction data from large national surveys in Canada. Its aim is to measure the degree and geographic scale of consumption externalities with neighbouring households.
NBER-PDF NBER-appendix
May 2005 Barrington-Leigh, C.P., ``Commons, privatisation, and the distribution of wealth in tradeable assets''
This is a theory paper looking at the insurance value of being able to trade precautionary-saving assets when credit constraints exist. It takes a computational approach to the heterogeneous distribution problem.

Other Publications Working papers Press

Economics Dissertation (2009)

Geographic reference groups and the determinants of life satisfaction,
PhD (Economics) under John Helliwell / Thomas Lemieux, University of British Columbia, January 2009. (

Applied Physics Dissertation (2000)

Fast Photometric Imaging of High Altitude Optical Flashes Above Thunderstorms,
PhD (Applied Physics) under Umran S Inan, Stanford University, October 2000. (Abstract)

Undergraduate thesis (1995)

Neutral Density Profiles From a Diverted Plasma in Alcator C-Mod,
S.B. (Physics) under John Rice, M.I.T., May 1995

High school thesis (1990)

An Assessment of the Prospects for Suspended Animation Through the Application of Natural Cold Tolerance Strategies, International Baccalaureate Extended Essay, February 1990 (not published)

Selected Presentations

Physics (bibtex)

Barrington-Leigh, C. P., V. P. Pasko, and U. S. Inan, "Non-spectral measurements of ionization processes in sprites," URSI General Assembly, August 2002, Maastricht, Netherlands. [Presented by V. P. Pasko.]

Barrington-Leigh, C. P., "Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes After CGRO: Prospects From HESSI," EOS Trans. AGU, 82, 47, 2001. [poster/PDF]

Barrington-Leigh, C. P., V. P. Pasko, and U. S. Inan, "Exponential relaxation of optical emissions in sprites," CEDAR Workshop, Longmont, Colorado, June 2001. [poster/PDF]

Barrington-Leigh, C. P. and U. S. Inan, ``Unusually Intense Sprite Events Studied with Video, Photometry, and ULF/ELF/VLF Recordings,'' 2000 URSI National Radio Science Meeting, Program and Abstracts, p. 177, Boulder, Colorado, January 4-8, 2000.

Barrington-Leigh, C. P., U. S. Inan and M. Stanley, ``Elves: Photometric and Video Signatures,'' EOS Trans. AGU, 80, 46, 1999. [poster/PDF]

Barrington-Leigh, C. P. and U. S. Inan, ``High Speed Photometric Measurements of Thunderstorm Energetic Coupling to the Mesosphere and Lower Ionosphere,'' URSI General Assembly, August 1999, Toronto, Canada.

Barrington-Leigh, C. P., U. S. Inan, E. A. Gerken, ``Temporal and Spatial Structure of Sprites: Photometric and CCD Observations,'' EOS Trans. AGU, 79 1998.

Brook, M, M Stanley, P Krehbiel, W Rison, C B Moore, C P Barrington-Leigh, D Suszcynsky, T Nelson, W Lyons, ``Correlated Electric Field, Video, and Photometric Evidence of Charge Transfer Within Sprites,'' EOS Trans. AGU, 78 1997.

Barrington-Leigh, C. P., M. Stanley, U. S. Inan, ``Fast multi-channel photometry, broadband sferics, and intensified video observations of sprites and elves over southwestern United States and Mexico,'' EOS Trans. AGU, 78 1997.

Inan, U. S., et al., ``Rapid Lateral Expansion of Optical Luminosity in Lightning-Induced Ionospheric Flashes Referred to as 'Elves,''' EOS Trans. AGU, 77, 46, 1996.

Barrington-Leigh, C., et al., ``The Fly's Eye: A High-speed Photometric Array to Measure the Sub-millisecond Dynamics of Sprites and Elves,'' EOS Trans. AGU, 77, 46, 1996.

Paularena, K. I., Barrington-Leigh, C. P., and Lazarus, A. J., ``IMP-8 Solar Wind Parameters over Two Solar Cycles,'' EOS Trans. AGU, 74, 485, 1993.

Published opinion

Dec 2012 "Quebec attitude changing — for the better", The Gazette, 30 December, 2012.

Nov 2012 "Le bonheur québécois" , La Presse, 26 November 2012. (PDF)

June 2012 "How does the ability to measure aggregate human happiness impact policy?" , Arts Insights, Summer 2012.

March 2007 "Greenwashing Gateway", The Tyee, 19 March 2007 (with Paul Keeling).

Dec 2005 "Finding a plug for carbon leaks", Toronto Star, Dec. 3, 2005 (with Jennifer Ardiel and Katherine Muncaster).

Book Review


Mar 2008 Evaluation of life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions involved in online purchase versus in-store purchase of MEC goods PDF
Feb 2008 Searching for the Good Life in a Carbon Neutral BC: Meeting BC's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets with Fairness and Equity"
(A publication of the CCPA with contributions from the Climate Justice Project team members)

Nov 2007 Response to Environmental Assessment Certificate Application for: Port Mann/Highway 1 (PMH1) PDF
Dec 2006 Response to the draft Terms of Reference for the Environmental Assessment of the Port Mann Bridge / Highway 1 portion of the B.C. government's "Gateway Program" PDF
May 2006 Accountability and targets in the B.C. government's "Gateway Program" PDF

News and press about my work Publications Working papers Other

Selected print and popular press related to our work on life satisfaction:
Physics (bibtex)
Online and in print news and popular press related to our work on thunderstorm coupling to the mesosphere and ionosphere (red sprites, etc):