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Are there Regional Variations in the Psychological Cost of Unemployment in South Africa?

  • Nattavudh Powdthavee

    (The University of Warwick)

Are certain groups of unemployed individuals hurt less by unemployment than others? This paper is an attempt to test the hypothesis that non- pecuniary costs of unemployment may vary between societies with different unemployment rates. Using cross-sectional data from the SALDRU93 survey, we show that individuals’ reported well-being levels are inversely related to unemployment for South African adults as to be expected in richer countries. Reported well-being levels are shown to be associated negatively with regional unemployment rates for the employed. However, unemployment appears to hurt less for the individual if unemployment rates in the society are high.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/lab/papers/0310/0310006.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0310006.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 27 Oct 2003
Date of revision: 28 Oct 2003
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0310006
Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on WinXP; pages: 33; figures: 2
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
  2. Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-38, October.
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  4. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 1999. "The macroeconomics of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
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  7. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  8. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2004. "Well-being poverty versus income poverty and capabilities poverty?," Development and Comp Systems 0409040, EconWPA.
  9. Ceema Namazie & Peter Sanfey, 1998. "Happiness in Transition: The Case of Kyrgyzstan," Studies in Economics 9808, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  10. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2003. "Is the Structure of Happiness Equations the Same in Poor and Rich Countries? The Case of South Africa," Development and Comp Systems 0309003, EconWPA, revised 06 Nov 2003.
  11. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2006. "Tasting freedom: Happiness, religion and economic transition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 173-194, February.
  12. William A. Darity & Arthur H. Goldsmith, 1996. "Social Psychology, Unemployment and Macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 121-140, Winter.
  13. Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  14. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  15. Carol Graham & Stefano Pettinato, 2001. "Happiness, Markets, and Democracy: Latin America in Comparative Perspective," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 237-268, September.
  16. Akerlof, George A, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of Which Unemployment May be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-75, June.
  17. Romer, David, 1984. "The Theory of Social Custom: A Modification and Some Extensions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 717-27, November.
  18. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2000. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," NBER Working Papers 7487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Johannesson, Magnus, 2001. "The relationship between happiness, health, and socio-economic factors: results based on Swedish microdata," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 553-557.
  20. Geeta G. Kingdon & John B. Knight, 2001. "Unemployment in South Africa: The nature of the beast," CSAE Working Paper Series 2001-15, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  21. Orsolya Lelkes, 2002. "Tasting Freedom: happiness, religion and economic transition," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6384, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  22. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1995. "Unemployment: Where does it Hurt?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1093, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Theodossiou, I., 1998. "The effects of low-pay and unemployment on psychological well-being: A logistic regression approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 85-104, January.
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