Helping to Unravel the Dynamics of Happiness among the Elderly in the Southern Cone
The happiness literature provides evidence on various factors, other than money, that do seem to contribute to individual happiness. As one explores the produced “happiness socioeconomics” literature, it is direct to understand the difficulty to find proper information on developing countries reality. In our analysis we investigate the relationship between income, family composition, health and religion over subjective well-being in the Southern Cone of Latin America (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay). Specifically, we analyze data from the SABE survey, a study conducted among people who are 60 years old or over, in various Latin American countries. The main results of our analysis show a positive correlation between higher levels of subjective well-being and higher levels of income or health, being married and the frequent religion practice. On the contrary, malnutrition shows a negative relationship with happiness indicators. In order to add robustness to our results, our research uses different indicators of well-being and alternative estimation models. Latin America, in particular the southern cone, has experienced an increasing aging population since mid ’50s. Thus, for policy makers, it is extremely useful to disentangle the possible causes of subjective well-being among the elderly. This research and its findings suggest guidelines to explore.
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