Determinants of well-being in the Brazilian population

  • Determinants of well-being in the Brazilian population
    Author
    • Aloisio Campelo

      Holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from PUC-RJ, with a Diploma in Economics for Development from Queen Mary College. MBA in Business Finance and Master in Business Economics from FGV. He is currently an economist at FGV’s Brazilian Institute of Economics (FGV IBRE), where he coordinates the department that produces trend surveys.

    • Viviane Seda Bittencourt

      She holds a Master's degree in Economics from Fundação Getulio Vargas (2011). She is currently coordinator of the Center for Economic Cycles of FGV’s Brazilian Institute of Economics (FGV IBRE). She has experience in research, macroeconomics, consumer, trust and economic cycles.

    • Fernanda Machado

      Master's degree student at the University of Warwick: MSc Behavioural and Economic Science (2017-2018) and graduated in Economics from IBMEC RJ (2013-2016). She was a Research Fellow at FGV’s Brazilian Institute of Economics (FGV IBRE).

    • João Renato Leripio

      He holds a Master's degree in Economics from Fluminense Federal University (UFF). He works as a researcher at the Federal District Planning Company (CODEPLAN). He participated in the RIDGE Summer School in Montevideo (UY) and the Dynare Summer School in Le Mans (FR). He has R language programming skills for data analysis, statistics and econometrics. He presented papers for two editions of the International Seminar on Statistics with R (SeR) organized by the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics of UFF, receiving third place award in the 2017 edition with the work “The drivers of break-even inflation in Brazil: a LASSO approach”.

Summary

This study sought to identify determinants of the subjective well-being of Brazilians using data from the Well-Being Survey, a survey conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Economics (FGV IBRE). Based on variables selected through a Least Absolute Shrinkage (LASSO) model, different adjusted specifications were tested via OLS and ordered Probit, and the dependent variable was a measure of life satisfaction.

The results suggest that both objective variables (income and unemployment) and subjective variables are relevant in explaining people’s satisfaction with their life, and that the inclusion of subjective variables improves the fit of models. Among other things, the results of this research indicate that governments ought to avoid only assisting exclusive interest groups, considering the overflowing effects of their interventions, and instead offer a unified vision of social preferences for different public policy tradeoffs in each country. Given the advantages of subjective research, the Well-Being Survey looks at which factors influence the well-being of people in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Efforts were also made to measure the effects of well-being caused by the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. As a result, the city of São Paulo was chosen as a control city for the study.