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

  • Nattavudh Powdthavee

    (Warwick University)

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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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
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