Quality of Life in Latin America and the Caribbean

Chapter

Abstract

Latin America and the Caribbean is a vast region with a population above 550 million and with an extension above 20 million square kilometers. It goes from the northern 32° parallel to the southern 56° parallel (not considering Antarctic territories). Many languages are spoken in the region, such as Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, Quechua, Guaraní, Náhuatl, Aymara, and others. As expected, it is a diverse region; there are significant intercountry differences, as well as substantial intracountry disparities. However, albeit it is vague, there is a general idea of the region as a single entity, and most people in the region can identify themselves as Latin-Americans and as Caribbean. This chapter does not aspire to be exhaustive, since it would be almost impossible to encompass all the relevant issues and all the significant research about quality of life in such a vast and diverse region. Hence, this chapter aims to provide a general overview of some relevant issues about quality of life in Latin America and the Caribbean. Section “The Region” discusses the delimitation of the region. Section “The Quality of Life Situation: Assessment Based on Objective Socioeconomic Indicators” provides a quantitative view of the main quality of life problems in the region. Section “The Quality of Life Situation: Assessment Based on Subjective Well-Being Indicators” follows a subjective well-being perspective to assess the region’s situation. Section “Some Relevant Issues About Latin-American Quality of Life” follows a more qualitative and historical perspective to explain some quality of life problems and to understand the factors that structurally threaten quality of life in the region; it is based on a survey of recent studies. Section “Conclusions” elaborates on the main conclusions.

Keywords

Life Satisfaction Gross Domestic Product Income Distribution Social Fragmentation Economic Satisfaction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Arias, O., Tejerina, L., & Yamada, G. (2003). Education, family background and racial earnings inequality in Brazil. Working Paper. Poverty and Inequality Unit, Sustainable Development Department, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  2. Ayres, R. L. (1998). Crime and violence as development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Washington, DC: The World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Behrman, J. R., Birdsall, N., & Székely, M. (2000a). Intergenerational mobility in Latin America: Deeper markets and better schools make a difference. In N. Birdsall & C. Graham (Eds.), New markets, new opportunities? Economic and social mobility in a changing world. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Google Scholar
  4. Behrman, J. R., Duryea, S., & Székely, M. (2000b). Schooling investments and macroeconomic conditions: A micro-macro investigation for Latin America and the Caribbean 1999. Technical Paper, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  5. Behrman, J., Birdsall, N., & Szekely, M. (2001). Economic reform and wage differentials in Latin America. Carnegie Endowment Working Papers, November 2001.Google Scholar
  6. Bouillon, C., & Buvinic, M. (2003) Inequality, exclusion and poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean: Implications for development, Inter-American Development Bank.Google Scholar
  7. Bourguignon, F., & Verdier, T. (2000). Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth. Journal of Development Economics, 62(2), 285–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Buvinic, M., & Morrison, A. (2000). Causes of violence, technical note 3, division of social development, department of sustainable development, Inter-American Development Bank.Google Scholar
  9. Buvinic, M., Morrison, A., & Shifter, M. (1999). Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean: A framework for action, technical study, sustainable development department, Inter-American Development Bank.Google Scholar
  10. Caldeira, T. (1999). Fortified Enclaves: The new urban segregation. In S. M. Low (Ed.), Theorizing the city. The new urban anthropology reader. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Gonzales de Olarte, E., & Gavilano, P. (1997, October). Poverty and domestic violence against woman in Metropolitan Lima. Paper presented as part of the Conference Domestic Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean: Costs, Programs and Politics. Inter-American Development Bank. Washington, DC, October 20–21.Google Scholar
  12. di Tella, R., MacCulloch, R., & Oswald, A. (1997). Preferences for inflation and unemployment: Some evidence from surveys of happiness. The American Economic Review, 91(1), 335–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eggers, A., & Graham, C. (2004). The costs of unemployment in Latin America. Mimeo: The Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  14. Ezcurra, E., & Mazari-Hiriart, M. (1998). ¿Son Viables las Megaciudades? Las Enseñanzas de la Ciudad de México. Gaceta Ecológica, 48, 8–26.Google Scholar
  15. Fajnzylber, P. (1997). What causes crime and violence? Washington, DC: World Bank, Office of the Chief Economist, Latin America and the Caribbean.Google Scholar
  16. Fajnzylber, P., Lederman, D., & Loayza, N. (1998). Determinants of crime rates in Latin America and the world: An empirical assessment. Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  17. Gaviria, A., & Stein, E. (1999). Urban concentration in Latin America and the world. Background paper for the Office of the Chief Economist, Inter-American Development Bank.Google Scholar
  18. Giglia, A. (2001a). Sociabilidad y megaciudades, Estudios Sociológicos, El Colegio de México, septiembre–diciembre, 799–821.Google Scholar
  19. Giglia, A. (2001b). La Nueva segregación urbana, Perfiles Latinoamericanos 19. México: FLACSO-México.Google Scholar
  20. Graham, C. (2005) Insights on development from the economics of happiness. World Bank Research Observer , 20(2), 201–231.Google Scholar
  21. Graham, C., & Felton, A. (2005). Does inequality matter to individual welfare? An initial exploration based on happiness surveys from Latin America. The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, CSED Working Paper No. 38, January.Google Scholar
  22. Graham, C., & Pettinato, S. (2001). Happiness, markets, and democracy: Latin America in comparative perspective. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2(3), 237–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Graham, C., & Pettinato, S. (2002a). Happiness and hardship: Opportunity and insecurity in new market economies. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  24. Graham, C., & Pettinato, S. (2002b). Frustrated achievers: Winners, losers, and subjective well-being in emerging market economies. Journal of Development Studies, 38(4), 100–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Graham, C., & Sukhtankar, S. (2004). Does economic crisis reduce support for markets and democracy in Latin America? Some evidence from surveys of public opinion and well being. Journal of Latin American Studies, 36, 349–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hakim, P. (2011). Rethinking US drug policy inter American dialogue. Washington, DC: The Beckley Foundation.Google Scholar
  27. Hall, G., & Patrinos, H. (2004). Overview. In G. Hall & H. Patrinos (Eds.), Indigenous people, poverty and human development in Latin America: 1994–2004. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  28. LACDD (2008) Drugs and democracy: Towards a paradigm shift. Report of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy.Google Scholar
  29. Lozano, R. (1997). La Carga de la Enfermedad y las Lesiones por Violencia contra las Mujeres: El Caso de la Ciudad de México. Documento de la Conferencia Violencia Doméstica en América Latina y el Caribe: Costos, Programas y Políticas. Banco Inter-Americano de Desarrollo, Washington, DC, 20–21 de octubre.Google Scholar
  30. Lucero, J. A. (2006). Indigenous political voice and the struggle for recognition in Ecuador and Bolivia. Background papers, World Development Report 2006: Equity & Development, The World Bank.Google Scholar
  31. Lustig, N. (2011). Tendencias Recientes de la Desigualdad y la Pobreza en América Latina. In M. Puchet, M. Rojas, R. Salazar, G. Valenti, & F. Valdés (Eds.), América latina: problemas centrales y oportunidades promisorias. México: FLACSO-México.Google Scholar
  32. Mejía, A. (2005). Air pollution in urban areas, LCSEN sector management; manuscript.Google Scholar
  33. Menezes-Filho. (2003). Education and labor market outcomes in Brazil. Prepared for the Seminar, Dealing with Risk: Implementing Employment Policies under Fiscal Constrains, 23 March, Milan, Italy.Google Scholar
  34. Mezzera, J. (2002). Gênero, Raça, Emprego e Rendas. manuscript.Google Scholar
  35. Moreley, S. (2001). Distribution and growth in Latin America in an Era of structural reform: The impact of globalization, Technical Paper No. 184, OECD, Paris.Google Scholar
  36. Rojas, M. (2005a). A conceptual-referent theory of happiness: Heterogeneity and its consequences. Social Indicators Research, 74(2), 261–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rojas, M. (2005b). Bienestar Subjetivo y su Relación con Indicadores Objetivos: Consideraciones para la Política Pública. In L. Garduño, B. Salinas, & M. Rojas (Eds.), Calidad de Vida y Bienestar Subjetivo en México. México: Plaza y Valdés.Google Scholar
  38. Rojas, M. (2005c). Distribución del Ingreso y Teorías de Justicia. In J. R. Vargas & Y. Xirinachs (Eds.), La Formación de Economistas: Ensayos en Honor de Pepita Echandi. Costa Rica: Universidad de Costa Rica.Google Scholar
  39. Rojas, M. (2005d). Qué es Desarrollo Económico? In J. R. Vargas & Y. Xirinachs (Eds.), La Formación de Economistas: Ensayos en Honor de Pepita Echandi. Costa Rica: Universidad de Costa Rica.Google Scholar
  40. Rojas, M. (2005e). Una Introducción a la Nueva Economía Política. In J. R. Vargas & Y. Xirinachs (Eds.), La Formación de Economistas: Ensayos en Honor de Pepita Echandi. Costa Rica: Universidad de Costa Rica.Google Scholar
  41. Rojas, M. (2006a). Communitarian versus individualistic arrangements in the family: What and whose income matters for happiness? chapter 10. In R. J. Estes (Ed.), Advancing quality of life in a turbulent world. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  42. Rojas, M. (2006b). Well-being and the complexity of poverty: A subjective well-being approach, chapter 9. In M. McGillivray & M. Clarke (Eds.), Understanding human well-being. Tokyo/New York/Paris: United Nations University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Rojas, M. (2006c). Life satisfaction and satisfaction in domains of life: Is it a simple relationship? Journal of Happiness Studies, 7(4), 467–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rojas, M. (2007a). Estimating equivalence scales in Mexico: A subjective well-being approach. Oxford Development Studies, 35(3), 273–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rojas, M. (2007b). Heterogeneity in the relationship between income and happiness: A conceptual referent theory explanation. Journal of Economic Psychology, 28(1), 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rojas, M. (2007c). The complexity of well-being: A life-satisfaction conception and a domains-of-life approach, chapter 12. In I. Gough & A. McGregor (Eds.), Researching well-being in developing countries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Rojas, M. (2010). Intra-household arrangements and economic satisfaction: Implications for poverty analysis. Journal of Happiness Studies, 11(2), 225–241.Google Scholar
  48. Rojas, M. (2011). Bienestar Subjetivo en América Latina. In M. Puchet, M. Rojas, R. Salazar, G. Valenti, & F. Valdés (Eds.), América latina: problemas centrales y oportunidades promisorias. México: FLACSO-México.Google Scholar
  49. Rubalcava, R. M., & Schteingart, M. (2000). Segregación Socioespacial. In G. Garza (Ed.), La Ciudad de México en el fin del segundo milenio, México: El Colegio de México – Gobierno del Distrito Federal.Google Scholar
  50. Saavedra, J. (2003). Labor markets during the 1990s. In P. P. Kuczynski & J. Williamson (Eds.), After the Washington consensus: Restarting growth and reform in Latin America. Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics.Google Scholar
  51. Saavedra, F., & Cervantes, M. (2003). Población y Recursos Naturales: El Caso del Agua. La Situación Demográfica de México 2003. Consejo Nacional de Población, Mexico.Google Scholar
  52. Saavedra, J., Torero, M., & Ñopo, H. (2003). Ethnicity and earnings in urban Peru. In P. P. Kuczynki & J. Williamson (Eds.), After the Washington consensus: Restarting growth and reform in Latin America. Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics.Google Scholar
  53. Sokoloff, K. L., & Engerman, S. L. (2000). Institutions, factor endowments, and paths of development in the new world. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(3), 217–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. World Bank. (1997). Crime and violence as development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. The State of Rio de Janeiro and The Inter-American Development Bank. Seminar on The Challenge of Urban Criminal Violence. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 2–4.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FLACSO-México & UPAEPMexico CityMexico

Personalised recommendations