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Relative Income, Inequality and Subjective Wellbeing: Evidence for Brazil

  • Alexandre Gori-Maia

    ()

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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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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  1. Alberto Alesina & Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2001. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1938, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Michael Hagerty & Ruut Veenhoven, 2003. "Wealth and Happiness Revisited – Growing National Income Does Go with Greater Happiness," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 64(1), pages 1-27, October.
  3. Conchita D’Ambrosio & Joachim Frick, 2007. "Income Satisfaction and Relative Deprivation: An Empirical Link," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 81(3), pages 497-519, May.
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  8. 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.
  9. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-361898 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Leonardo Becchetti & Luisa Corrado & Fiammetta Rossetti, 2011. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Income Changes on Happiness," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 104(3), pages 387-406, December.
  11. McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
  12. Garner, Thesia I & de Vos, Klaas, 1995. "Income Sufficiency v. Poverty: Results from the United States and the Netherlands," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 117-34, May.
  13. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Gustafsson, Bjorn, 1995. "Assessing Poverty: Some Reflections on the Literature," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 361-81, November.
  15. Ed Diener & Eunkook Suh, 1997. "Measuring Quality Of Life: Economic, Social, And Subjective Indicators," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 189-216, January.
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