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Relative Income, Inequality and Subjective Wellbeing: Evidence for Brazil

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  • Alexandre Gori-Maia

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the determinants of the self-reported income and food sufficiency in Brazil, highlighting how these subjective measures of wellbeing are affected by relative conditions. Analyses are based on pooled data from the 2002/2003 and 2008/2009 Brazilian Family Budget Survey and on estimates of the multinomial relation between income and food sufficiency with absolute and relative indicators. The paper highlights that living in a more affluent neighborhood does matter in self-reported perceptions of wellbeing. Stated income sufficiency depends positively on absolute family income and negatively on relative neighbor income. Moreover, neighborhood education and regional inequality affect both stated perceptions of income and food sufficiency. The paper concludes that improving personal income and education, as well as reducing inequality, is one of the most effective ways to improve both the quality of life and the general perceptions of wellbeing in society. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11205-012-0135-4
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Indicators Research.

Volume (Year): 113 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 1193-1204

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Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:113:y:2013:i:3:p:1193-1204

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

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Keywords: Stated wellbeing; Relative income perception; Inequality; Income sufficiency; Food sufficiency; Brazil;

References

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  1. Aldi Hagenaars & Klaas de Vos, 1988. "The Definition and Measurement of Poverty," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(2), pages 211-221.
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  11. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  12. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
  13. ED Diener & Carol Diener, 1995. "The wealth of nations revisited: Income and quality of life," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 275-286, November.
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