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The Influence of Water Access in Subjective Well-Being: Some Evidence in Yucatan, Mexico

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Author Info

  • Jorge Guardiola

    ()

  • Francisco González-Gómez
  • Ángel Lendechy Grajales

Abstract

The literature on happiness or subjective well-being has explored the determinants of happiness without taking into consideration the role that water plays. In this paper we attempt to draw attention to water in subjective well-being studies. Approximately one hundred million people do not have access to water. A lack of clean water causes diseases such as diarrhea and cholera, responsible for around 5% of the total deaths in the world. Access to water should therefore be a necessary asset in life. In order to consider access to water, we estimate its influence on subjective well-being using data from rural Yucatan, Mexico. Residents in Yucatan suffer from low quality access to water and there are also imperfections in the management of the service, such as water cuts. We estimate the influence of water on subjective well-being, finding a positive and significant relationship. In a second stage of the research, we relate water access variables to subjective well-being, the health and the water domain of life, finding significant results. These results make it possible to formulate political measures concerning access to water and happiness maximization. We demonstrate that access to water is important for well-being in Yucatan and might be important in many other places; we therefore encourage future research to contemplate water satisfaction and water variables in their analysis. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11205-011-9925-3
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Indicators Research.

Volume (Year): 110 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 207-218

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Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:110:y:2013:i:1:p:207-218

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Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/11135

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Related research

Keywords: Water access; Subjective well-being; Policy evaluation; Water policy;

References

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  1. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon & John Knight, 2006. "Subjective well-being poverty vs. Income poverty and capabilities poverty?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(7), pages 1199-1224.
  2. Robert Biswas-Diener & Ed Diener, 2001. "Making the Best of a Bad Situation: Satisfaction in the Slums of Calcutta," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 55(3), pages 329-352, September.
  3. Welsch, Heinz, 2006. "Environment and happiness: Valuation of air pollution using life satisfaction data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 801-813, July.
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  6. Robert Cummins, 1996. "The domains of life satisfaction: An attempt to order chaos," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 303-328, January.
  7. Rojas, Mariano, 2008. "Experienced Poverty and Income Poverty in Mexico: A Subjective Well-Being Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1078-1093, June.
  8. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Gowdy, John M., 2007. "Environmental degradation and happiness," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 509-516, January.
  9. Hope, R.A., 2006. "Evaluating water policy scenarios against the priorities of the rural poor," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 167-179, January.
  10. Showers, Kate B., 2002. "Water Scarcity and Urban Africa: An Overview of Urban-Rural Water Linkages," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 621-648, April.
  11. Mariano Rojas, 2006. "Life satisfaction and satisfaction in domains of life: is it a simple relationship?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 467-497, November.
  12. Jeffrey Bookwalter & Douglas Dalenberg, 2004. "Subjective Well-Being and Household Factors in South Africa," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 65(3), pages 333-353, February.
  13. Rojas, Mariano, 2007. "Heterogeneity in the relationship between income and happiness: A conceptual-referent-theory explanation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-14, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Jorge Guardiola & Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo, 2013. "Weighting life domains with Data Envelopment Analysis," Working Papers 1311, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.

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