IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Are Youths on Income Support Less Happy? Evidence from Australia


  • Lee, Wang-Sheng

    () (Deakin University)

  • Oguzoglu, Umut

    () (University of Manitoba)


The central research question addressed in this paper is how receipt of income support payments affects the well-being of youths. Using 1997-2004 panel data from a nationally representative survey of Australian youths, we attempt to estimate the size of the welfare stigma faced by Australian youths, where stigma is defined as the effect of welfare receipt on reported happiness levels. In analysing the determinants of happiness, we argue that it is important to control for dynamics and initial conditions. The latter arguably measures an initial setpoint of happiness which the psychological literature has found strong support for. In contrast to the general findings of the existence of a welfare stigma for adults, based on our results using dynamic panel probit models, our findings suggest that for Australian youths, there is a small negative but not statistically significant stigma associated with welfare receipt.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee, Wang-Sheng & Oguzoglu, Umut, 2007. "Are Youths on Income Support Less Happy? Evidence from Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 2709, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2709

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arulampalam, W., 1998. "A Note on Estimated Coefficients in Random Effects Probit Models," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 520, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    2. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2005. "Simple solutions to the initial conditions problem in dynamic, nonlinear panel data models with unobserved heterogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 39-54.
    3. Guyonne R. Kalb, 1999. "Labour Supply and Welfare Participation in Australian Two-Adult Households: Comparing 1986/87 with 1994/95," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers bp-34, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
    4. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
    5. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-1035, December.
    6. Alfred Michael Dockery, 2005. "The Happiness of Young Australians: Empirical Evidence on the Role of Labour Market Experience," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(255), pages 322-335, December.
    7. Card, David & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1988. "Measuring the Effect of Subsidized Training Programs on Movements in and out of Employment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 497-530, May.
    8. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, July.
    9. Winkelmann, Rainer, 2006. "Parental separation and well-being of youths: Evidence from Germany," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 197-208, April.
    10. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
    11. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Chrostek, Pawel, 2013. "An empirical investigation into the determinants and persistence of happiness and life evaluation," MPRA Paper 50442, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Chrostek, Pawel, 2013. "An empirical investigation into the determinants and persistence of different types of subjective well-being," MPRA Paper 48292, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. PaweĊ‚ Chrostek, 2016. "An Empirical Investigation into the Determinants and Persistence of Happiness and Life Evaluation," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 413-430, February.

    More about this item


    well-being; welfare stigma; youths; happiness;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2709. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.