The Impact of Covid‐19 on Subjective Well‐Being – A Comparative Analysis of Western Europe and Latin America

  • Léa Cenci Léa Cenci

Subjective Well-being (SWB), which is becoming increasingly important in measuring the success of a civilisation, has been challenged in 2020 with the implementation of measures aiming at limiting the spread of Covid-19.
This paper will combine the literature on the progress made in measuring SWB and the factors influencing it, in Latin America and Western Europe, with a measurement of the impact of Covid-19 (and its containment measures) on SWB. Coronavirus and health crisis measures, such as social distancing, could help to determine the extent to  which interpersonal relationships play an important role in determining the level of happiness across countries and cultures. Using the Subjective Well-Being evolution in 2020, in Latin America and Western Europe, along with the Stringency Index of coronavirus containment measures, this research finds that SWB in Western Europe was more resilient in 2020. Although we failed to link this evolution to the level of SI, we find that culture had an impact in determining the factors that influenced the SWB in 2020. Among the key factors explaining the more pronounced negative evolution in LA is social support. This leads to various implications, mainly demonstrating the importance of accounting more for the social support in SWB measures, and the balance of affects in happiness measurements.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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