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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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  2. Platt, Stephen & Micciolo, Rocco & Tansella, Michele, 1992. "Suicide and unemployment in Italy: Description, analysis and interpretation of recent trends," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 1191-1201, June.
  3. 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.
  4. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  5. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1995. "Unemployment: Where does it Hurt?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1093, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. David Romer, 1984. "The Theory of Social Custom: A Modification and Some Extensions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(4), pages 717-727.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Namazie, Ceema & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Happiness and Transition: The Case of Kyrgyzstan," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 392-405, October.
  10. Andrew Clark, 2001. "Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," DELTA Working Papers 2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  11. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  12. Geeta G. Kingdon & John Knight, 2003. "Well-being poverty versus income poverty and capabilities poverty?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2003-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  13. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2006. "Tasting freedom: Happiness, religion and economic transition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 173-194, February.
  14. 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.
  15. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1999. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Studies in Economics 9903, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  16. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert J. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 615, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  17. 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.
  18. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  19. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," IEW - Working Papers 015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  20. 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.
  21. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2001. "Unemployment in South Africa: the nature of the beast," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2001-15, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  22. Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Johannesson, Magnus, 1997. "The Relationship between Happiness, Health and Socio-economic Factors: Results Based on Swedish Micro Data," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 207, Stockholm School of Economics.
  23. 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.
  24. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
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