Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 1173–1204 | Cite as

Working Hours and Life Satisfaction: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Latin America and the United States

  • Rubia R. ValenteEmail author
  • Brian J. L. Berry
Research Paper


This paper compares the life satisfaction and working hours of Latin Americans and U.S. Americans using the AmericasBarometer and General Social Survey. While there are many common determinants of happiness, hours worked is not among them. Differences in cultural values, especially the distinction between collectivism (familism) and individualism that has long been a foundation of social development theory, may be why married Latin American males are less happy than married U.S. American males when working longer hours. The distinction is not apparent among females or the unmarried.


Life satisfaction Working hours Latin America  U.S 



We would like to thank the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) and its major supporters (the United States Agency for International Development, the United Nations Development Program, the Inter-American Development Bank, and Vanderbilt University) for making the data available. We would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable insights and comments.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economic, Political and Policy SciencesThe University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA

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