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

  • Jorge Guardiola

    ()

  • Francisco González-Gómez
  • Ángel Lendechy Grajales

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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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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  1. 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.
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