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Social Interactions and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Latin America

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  • Ateca Amestoy, Victoria María
  • Cortés Aguilar, Alexandra
  • Moro-Egido, Ana I.

Abstract

In this paper, we seek to examine the effect of comparisons and social capital on subjective well-being. Furthermore, we test if, through social influence and exposure, social capital is either an enhancer or appeaser of the comparison effect. Using the Latinobarómetro Survey (2007) we find that in contrast to most previous studies, the comparison effect on well-being is positive; that is, the better others perform, the happier the individual is. We also find that social capital is among the strongest correlates of individuals’ subjective well-being in Latin American countries. Furthermore, our findings suggest that social contacts may enhance the comparison effect on individual’s happiness, which is more intense for those who perform worse in their reference group.

Suggested Citation

  • Ateca Amestoy, Victoria María & Cortés Aguilar, Alexandra & Moro-Egido, Ana I., 2011. "Social Interactions and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Latin America," DFAEII Working Papers 1988-088X, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehu:dfaeii:6407
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    comparison effect; social capital; subjective well-being; social interactions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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