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The relationship between perceptions of insecurity, social capital and subjective well-being: Empirical evidences from areas of rural conflict in Colombia

Listed author(s):
  • Wills-Herrera, Eduardo
  • Orozco, Luz E.
  • Forero-Pineda, Clemente
  • Pardo, Oscar
  • Andonova, Venetta
Registered author(s):

    Subjective well-being (SWB), the evaluation that people carry out of their lives, has been proposed as an alternative measure of tracking the development of communities instead of economic growth. As part of a more general research question, in which we tested the impact of subjective insecurity on the choice of hybrid organizational modes, we hypothesized that subjective insecurity does negatively correlate with SWB and that subjective and objective insecurities are not significantly correlated. Subjective insecurity consisted of three items: perceptions of political, economic and communitarian insecurity. We proposed that the relationship between insecurity and SWB is moderated by the level of social capital found in the region. Social capital was defined as inter-personal trust as well as the frequency of participation of producers in voluntary associations. We used multiple and multilevel regression models to test the hypotheses. Based on a survey of 742 rural producers in five conflicted areas we found that the perceptions of insecurity do correlate significantly (negatively) with levels of SWB and we also found a significant contribution of social capital to levels of SWB. Significant correlations between demographic variables and SWB corroborated results of previous research. These results have important implications for public policy and future research.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

    Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 88-96

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:1:p:88-96
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    1. Eduardo Wills, 2009. "Spirituality and Subjective Well-Being: Evidences for a New Domain in the Personal Well-Being Index," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 49-69, March.
    2. Gasper, D.R. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. & Truong, T-D. & Walker, A., 2008. "Human security and social quality: contrasts and complementaries," ISS Working Papers - General Series 18731, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    3. Robert Cummins, 1996. "The domains of life satisfaction: An attempt to order chaos," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 303-328, January.
    4. Forero, Clemente & Wills, Eduardo & Andonova, Veneta & Orozco, Luz Elena & Pardo, Oscar, 2010. "Violence, insecurity and hybrid organizational forms: A study in conflict-ridden zones in Colombia," Galeras. Working Papers Series 030, Universidad de Los Andes. Facultad de Administración. School of Management.
    5. Des Gasper, 2005. "Securing Humanity: Situating 'Human Security' as Concept and Discourse," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 221-245.
    6. Robert Cummins & Richard Eckersley & Julie Pallant & Jackie van Vugt & RoseAnne Misajon, 2003. "Developing a National Index of Subjective Wellbeing: The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 64(2), pages 159-190, November.
    7. Rachael Diprose, 2007. "Physical Safety and Security: A Proposal for Internationally Comparable Indicators of Violence," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 431-458.
    8. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-484, July.
    9. Gasper, Des, 2010. "Understanding the diversity of conceptions of well-being and quality of life," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 351-360, June.
    10. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
    11. Maria Ana Lugo, 2007. "Employment: A proposal for Internationally Comparable Indicators," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp002, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
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