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Unhappiness and Crime : Evidence from South Africa

  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

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. The calculated ‘compensating variation’ suggests that it would take, on average, an extra $10,000 per month to offset the psychological costs of crime. 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.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp685a.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 685.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:685
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Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/

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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. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  3. Alex Michalos & Bruno Zumbo, 2000. "Criminal Victimization and the Quality of Life," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 245-295, June.
  4. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1999. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Studies in Economics 9903, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  5. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2003. "Well-being poverty versus income poverty and capabilities poverty?," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2003-16, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
  10. Stutzer, Alois & Lalive, Rafael, 2001. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2000. "Identifying welfare effects from subjective questions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2301, The World Bank.
  12. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  13. 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.
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  15. Bernard M. S. van Praag & P. Frijters & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2001. "The Anatomy of Subjective Well-Being," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 265, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  16. McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
  17. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Warr, Peter B., 1994. "Is job satisfaction u-shaped in age ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9407, CEPREMAP.
  18. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2003. "Are there Regional Variations in the Psychological Cost of Unemployment in South Africa?," Labor and Demography 0310006, EconWPA, revised 28 Oct 2003.
  19. Valerie Møller, 1998. "Quality of Life in South Africa: Post-Apartheid Trends," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 27-68, February.
  20. Alois Stutzer, . "The Role of Income Aspirations in Individual Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 124, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  21. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  22. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 1999. "Measuring Preferences by Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(4), pages 755-778, December.
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