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Unhappiness and Crime: Evidence from South Africa

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  • Nattavudh Powdthavee

    (The 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. 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2003. "Unhappiness and Crime: Evidence from South Africa," Development and Comp Systems 0310003, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 Mar 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0310003
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark A. Cohen, 2008. "The Effect of Crime on Life Satisfaction," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 325-353, June.
    2. Clark, Andrew E. & D'Ambrosio, Conchita & Zhu, Rong, 2019. "Crime Victimisation Over Time and Sleep Quality," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1901, CEPREMAP.
    3. Andrew J. Oswald & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2008. "Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 217-251, June.
    4. Stéphane Mahuteau & Rong Zhu, 2016. "Crime Victimisation and Subjective Well‐Being: Panel Evidence From Australia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(11), pages 1448-1463, November.
    5. Chiara Amini & Elodie Douarin, 2020. "Corruption and Life Satisfaction in Transition: Is Corruption a Social Norm in Eastern Europe?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 151(2), pages 723-766, September.
    6. Blanchflower, David G; Oswald, Andrew, 2011. "International Happiness," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 39, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    7. Govindasamy, Darshini & Ferrari, Giulia & Maruping, Kealeboga & Bodzo, Paidamoyo & Mathews, Catherine & Seeley, Janet, 2020. "A qualitative enquiry into the meaning and experiences of wellbeing among young people living with and without HIV in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 258(C).
    8. Popova, Olga, 2014. "Can religion insure against aggregate shocks to happiness? The case of transition countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 804-818.
    9. Martinique Cordeiro & Prudence Kwenda & Miracle Ntuli, 2020. "Crime and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from South Africa - Gauteng Province," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 15(3), pages 715-736, July.
    10. Marko Ledic & Ivica Rubil, 2020. "Does going beyond income make a difference? Income vs. equivalent income in the EU over 2007-2011," Public Sector Economics, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 44(4), pages 423-462.
    11. Frijters, Paul & Beatton, Tony, 2012. "The mystery of the U-shaped relationship between happiness and age," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 525-542.
    12. Cheng, Zhiming & Smyth, Russell, 2015. "Crime victimization, neighborhood safety and happiness in China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 424-435.
    13. Hinks, Timothy, 2020. "Bribery, motivations for bribery and life satisfaction in transitional countries," World Development Perspectives, Elsevier, vol. 17(C).
    14. Dedehouanou, Senakpon & Maertens, Miet, 2011. "Participation in Modern Agri-Food Supply Chain in Senegal and Happiness," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114447, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    15. Kenneth E. Fernandez & Michele Kuenzi, 2010. "Crime and Support for Democracy in Africa and Latin America," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 58(3), pages 450-471, June.
    16. Coupé, Tom & Obrizan, Maksym, 2016. "Violence and political outcomes in Ukraine—Evidence from Sloviansk and Kramatorsk," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 201-212.
    17. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2007. "Feeling Richer or Poorer than Others: A Cross‐section and Panel Analysis of Subjective Economic Status in Indonesia," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 169-194, June.
    18. Chengedzai Mafini & Daniel Meyer, 2016. "Societal Factors and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from Low Income Urban Societies in a Developing Country," Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, AMH International, vol. 8(3), pages 87-100.
    19. Christopher L Ambrey & Christopher M Fleming & Matthew Manning, 2013. "The life satisfaction approach to estimating the cost of crime: An individual's willingness-to-pay for crime reduction," Discussion Papers in Economics economics:201301, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
    20. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2009. "Estimating the Causal Effects of Income on Happiness," Discussion Papers 09/02, Department of Economics, University of York.
    21. Chiara Amini & Elodie Douarin, 0. "Corruption and Life Satisfaction in Transition: Is Corruption a Social Norm in Eastern Europe?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-44.
    22. Nekeisha Spencer & Zhonghui Liu, 2019. "Victimization and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from a High Crime Country," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 475-495, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Happiness; Quality of Life; Crime; Stigma; South Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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