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Social Interactions and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from Latin America

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  • Victoria Ateca-Amestoy
  • Alexandra Aguilar
  • Ana Moro-Egido

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Abstract

In this paper, we seek to examine the effect of social comparisons and of social capital on life satisfaction over a sample of Latin American countries. We test if, through social influence and exposure, social capital is either an enhancer or appeaser of the effect of social comparisons of material conditions in life satisfaction. Using the Latinobarómetro Survey (2007) we find, contrary to the existing literature that, the better others perform in the material dimension, the happier the individual is. We also find that social capital is among the strongest correlates of individuals’ life satisfaction. Our findings suggest that social contacts may enhance the effect of social comparisons, which is more intense for those who perform worse in their reference group. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Victoria Ateca-Amestoy & Alexandra Aguilar & Ana Moro-Egido, 2014. "Social Interactions and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from Latin America," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 527-554, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:15:y:2014:i:3:p:527-554
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-013-9434-y
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    Cited by:

    1. Rubia R. Valente & Brian J. L. Berry, 2016. "Working Hours and Life Satisfaction: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Latin America and the United States," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 1173-1204, June.
    2. Elena Bárcena-Martín & Cortés Aguilar Alexandra & Ana I. Moro Egido, 2013. "The role of proximity and social comparisons on subjective well-being," ThE Papers 13/10, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    3. Rotondi, Valentina & Stanca, Luca & Tomasuolo, Miriam, 2017. "Connecting alone: Smartphone use, quality of social interactions and well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 17-26.
    4. repec:gam:jsoctx:v:8:y:2017:i:1:p:1-:d:124389 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:spr:jhappi:v:19:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9808-z is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:spr:jhappi:v:19:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9828-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Efstratia Arampatzi & Martijn J. Burger & Natallia Novik, 2018. "Social Network Sites, Individual Social Capital and Happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 99-122, January.
    8. Colombo, Emilio & Stanca, Luca, 2014. "Measuring the monetary value of social relations: A hedonic approach," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 77-87.
    9. Cortés Aguilar Alexandra & Teresa Garcia-Muñoz & Ana I. Moro Egido, 2013. "Heterogeneous Self-employment and Subjective Well-Being. Evidence from Latin America," ThE Papers 13/05, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..

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