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Unhappiness and Crime : Evidence from South Africa

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  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

Abstract

This paper is the first of its kind to study quality of life responses of crime victims. Using cross-sectional data from the OHS97 survey of South Africa, we show that victims report significantly lower well-being than the non-victims, ceteris paribus. The calculated ‘compensating variation’ suggests that it would take, on average, an extra $10,000 per month to offset the psychological costs of crime. Happiness is lower for nonvictimized respondents currently living in higher crime areas. However, we find a strong evidence for females that criminal victimization hurts, but hurts less if the crime rate on our reference group is high.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp685a.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 685.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:685

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Keywords: Happiness ; Quality of Life ; Crime ; Stigma ; South Africa;

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References

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  1. Di Tella, R. & MacCulloch, R.J.: Oswald, A.J., 1997. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," Papers 19, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  2. Alois Stutzer & Rafael Lalive, . "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," IEW - Working Papers 051, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. 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.
  4. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2001. "Identifying Welfare Effects from Subjective Questions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(271), pages 335-57, August.
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  7. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2004. "Unemployment in South Africa: the nature of the beast," Labor and Demography 0409003, EconWPA.
  8. Valerie Møller, 1998. "Quality of Life in South Africa: Post-Apartheid Trends," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 27-68, February.
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  16. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  17. Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2003. "Is The Structure Of Happiness Equations The Same In Poor And Rich Countries? The Case Of South Africa," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 675, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  18. Bernard M. S. van Praag & P. Frijters & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2001. "The Anatomy of Subjective Well-Being," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 265, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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  20. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
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