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Is the Structure of Happiness Equations the Same in Poor and Rich Countries? The Case of South Africa

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  • Nattavudh Powdthavee

    (Warwick University)

Abstract

Are happiness patterns structurally the same when comparing poor and rich countries? Using cross-sectional data from the SALDRU93 survey, we show that the relationships between subjective well-being and socioeconomic variables have a similar structure and is U-shaped in age in South Africa as in developed countries. Well-being rises with income. Unemployment is detrimental to reported well-being, both at the individual- and household-level. Living standard indicators such as durable assets ownership seem to determine happiness levels as well as income. Relative income also matters to well-being, after controlling for community wealth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 0309003.

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Date of creation: 05 Sep 2003
Date of revision: 06 Nov 2003
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0309003

Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PDF;
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: Happiness; Living Standard; South Africa; Poverty;

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Cited by:
  1. Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2003. "Unhappiness and Crime : Evidence from South Africa," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 685, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Hinks, Tim, 2009. "Job Satisfaction and Employment Equity in South Africa," Department of Economics Working Papers 15956, University of Bath, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Ferdi Botha & Frikkie Booysen, 2013. "The Gold of One’s Ring is Not Far More Precious than the Gold of One’s Heart: Reported Life Satisfaction Among Married and Cohabitating South African Adults," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 433-456, April.
  5. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2003. "Are there Regional Variations in the Psychological Cost of Unemployment in South Africa?," Labor and Demography 0310006, EconWPA, revised 28 Oct 2003.

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