Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 935–954 | Cite as

Happiness and Victimization in Latin America

  • Carolina Ortega Londoño
  • Daniel Gómez Mesa
  • Lina Cardona-Sosa
  • Catalina Gómez ToroEmail author
Research Paper


This study examines the effect that crime victimization has on Latin American citizens’ life satisfaction. The data comes from the Americas Barometer Survey of 2014, a public opinion project that collects self-reported measures of life satisfaction. To overcome some of the methodological issues faced by previous studies, a generalized ordered logit with partial constraints is used to examine the existence of a relationship. The results reinforces the negative association between being a victim of a crime and an individual’s level of life satisfaction as found by previous studies. It also supports previous findings showing that what matters is being a direct victim of a crime rather than living in a country with high homicides rates. In both cases, the size of the relationship differs by country.


Crime Happiness Life satisfaction Generalized ordered logit 

JEL Classification

I3 K42 D62 



We thank the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) and its major supporters (the United States Agency for International Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and Vanderbilt University) for making the data available.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad EAFITMedellínColombia
  2. 2.Banco de la República de ColombiaMedellínColombia

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