Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 115–138 | Cite as

Development Projects and Life Satisfaction: An Impact Study on Fair Trade Handicraft Producers

  • Leonardo BecchettiEmail author
  • Stefano Castriota
  • Nazaria Solferino


Is there a correspondence between subjective and objective wellbeing indicators in development programs? We investigate this question by evaluating the impact of Fair Trade affiliation on the subjective wellbeing of a sample of Peruvian (treatment and control) producers from two different Fair Trade projects in two socioeconomic environments, one relatively poorer (Juliaca) and the other relatively more affluent (Chulucanas). We find a direct and an indirect effect. The direct effect acts positively via affiliation years in the poorer project and via trade diversification in both projects. The indirect effect acts through the reduction of poverty and relative income. Consistently with the concave income-happiness assumption, the variables generating the indirect effect have a much weaker impact for producers living in the relatively better-off socioeconomic environment, net of the lower FT economic impact in this area.


Life satisfaction Poverty Development projects Fair trade 



We acknowledge the financial contribution of Provincia Autonoma di Trento under the “NUPROMIR” We thankKaushik Basu, Rafael Di Tella, Robert Lensink, Craig McIntosh and Bruce Wydick and all participants to the seminar held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London for their useful comments and suggestions. We thank for the discussion on the happiness related issues L. Bruni, A. Clark, R. Di Tella A. Stutzer and S. Zamagni. We also thank for discussion on our previous FT papers F. Adriani, S. Anderson, M. Bagella, K. Basu, R. Cellini, L. Debenedictis, M. Fenoaltea, B. Frey, P. Garella, I. Hasan, L. Lambertini, S. Martin, N. Phelps, G. Piga and P. Scaramozzino, M. E. Tessitore, P. Wachtel, C. Whilborg and all participants to the 1st ECINEQ Conference held in Palma de Majorca and to seminars held at the XV Villa Mondragone Conference, at SOAS in London, at the Copenhagen Business School, the 2008 Poverty and growth network conference in Accra and the Universities of Catania, Bologna, Macerata, Milano Bicocca, Trento and Verona for the useful comments and suggestions received. The usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonardo Becchetti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stefano Castriota
    • 2
  • Nazaria Solferino
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Rome Tor VergataRomeItaly
  2. 2.University of TrentoEuricseItaly

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