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Economic Poverty and Happiness in Rural Ecuador: the Importance of Buen Vivir (Living Well)

Fernando García-Quero () and Jorge Guardiola ()
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Fernando García-Quero: Universidad de Granada
Jorge Guardiola: Universidad de Granada

Applied Research in Quality of Life, 2018, vol. 13, issue 4, 909-926

Abstract: Abstract This research paper addresses the endemic dimensions of having or not having a good life using a concept of poverty based on self-reported subjective well-being. We build a subjective well-being poverty (SWBP) line and compare it with two income poverty (IP) lines. The endemic dimension comes from rural Ecuador and the indigenous happiness idea of Buen Vivir (Living Well), which has been the focus of growing attention in the scientific and the political arena. Discrepancies between SWBP and IP are deeply explored building models that explain SWBP with IP, as well as control variables and Buen Vivir related variables. We show that income poor households are more likely to be poor in terms of their reported subjective well-being. However, households that grow their own food and are in an indigenous community are less likely to report to be subjective well-being poor. The results suggest that low SWBP values in contrast with high IP may be explained by idiosyncratic components of the Buen Vivir philosophy. The components of the Buen Vivir ethos related to SWBP give rise to the idea of building multidimensional concepts of poverty based on what ethnic people consider to be good or bad for their specific way of life. In a general context, our study raises the importance of considering poverty and its dimensions taking into account the endemic factors of specific groups of people and cultures. That is, to take into account what is important for their lives.

Keywords: Happiness; Poverty; Buen Vivir; Latin America; Food sovereignty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:spr:ariqol:v:13:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s11482-017-9566-z