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Life satisfaction in Malawi and the importance of relative consumption, polygamy and religion

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Author Info

  • Tim Hinks

    (University of Bath, Bath, UK)

  • Simon Davies

    (Department of Economics and International Development, University of Bath, Bath, UK)

Abstract

Happiness equations for Malawi are estimated using a new household survey. It is apparent that absolute consumption level is strongly associated with satisfaction. Both objective and subjective relative consumption in the neighbourhood is positively associated with satisfaction. Male satisfaction is associated strongly with relative consumption but female satisfaction is not. Separated or widowed females are less happy than males indicating a vulnerability that acts as a disincentive to leave husbands during marital problems. Polygamous females in traditional religions are less satisfied than other females whilst there is some evidence that male Muslims in polygamous relationships are more satisfied. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jid.1470
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 20 (2008)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 888-904

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:20:y:2008:i:7:p:888-904

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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References

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  1. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  2. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
  3. Alderman, Harold, et al, 1995. "Unitary versus Collective Models of the Household: Is It Time to Shift the Burden of Proof?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 1-19, February.
  4. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  5. Rao, Vijayendra, 1997. "Wife-beating in rural South India: A qualitative and econometric analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 1169-1180, April.
  6. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  7. Alderman, H. & Chiappori, P.A. & Haddad, L., 1994. "Unitary versus Collective Models of the Household: Time to Shift the Burden of Proof?," DELTA Working Papers 94-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  8. Timothy Hinks & Carola Gruen, 2007. "What is the Structure of South African Happiness Equations? Evidence from Quality of Life Surveys," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 82(2), pages 311-336, June.
  9. Kingdon, Geeta & Knight, John, 2006. "The measurement of unemployment when unemployment is high," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 291-315, June.
  10. Ceema Zahra Namazie & Peter Sanfey, 1998. "Happiness in Transition: The Case of Kyrgyzstan," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 40, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  11. Udry, Christopher, 1990. "Credit Markets in Northern Nigeria: Credit as Insurance in a Rural Economy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 251-69, September.
  12. Carol Graham & Andrew Felton, 2006. "Inequality and happiness: Insights from Latin America," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 107-122, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Alem, Yonas & Colmer, Jonathan, 2013. "Optimal Expectations and the Welfare Cost of Climate Variability," Working Papers in Economics 578, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Yonas Alem & Jonathan Colmer, 2013. "Don’t Worry, Be Happy: The Welfare Cost of Climate Variability – A Subjective Well-Being Approach," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 118, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  3. Monica Guillen-Royo & Laura Camfield & Jackeline Velazco, 2013. "Universal and Local Reconciled: Exploring Satisfaction with Universal and Local Goals in Thailand and Bangladesh," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 113(2), pages 627-645, September.

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