The Relationship Between Subjective Well-Being and Self-Reported Health: Evidence from Ecuador

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This article addresses the relationship between self-reported health and subjective well-being in two dimensions: cognitive and emotional. Using the Household Living Conditions Survey 2014, this study represents the first approach for Ecuador and Latin America to test how the two dimensions of subjective well-being explain self-reported health. The cognitive dimension is measured by a happiness question in a life-evaluative mode. Whereas the emotional dimension is proxied by an average of 16 psychosocial well-being questions that indicates how many, from the last 7 days, the person had a poor emotional state. We use descriptive statistics and a probit model with an instrumental variable approach to address the omitted variables bias and reverse causality. After controlling for socioeconomic, personal, regional, and health related variables, the results indicate that happiness or the cognitive dimension of well-being is the main predictor of self-reported health, quantitatively more important than having a recent illness (objective health measure), habits (sport) or health care (health importance). Furthermore, more days in a negative emotional state is associated with worse self-reported health.
Bienestar subjetivo, Felicidad, Emocional, Salud mental