Subjective well being comparisons and reference groups in post apartheid south africa
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Subjective well-being, comparisons and reference groups in post-apartheid South Africa. Marisa Coetzee University of Stellenbosch South Africa 27 October 2011. Outline. Background Theoretical Framework Data Results Conclusions. Background. Subjective well-being / happiness (SWB)

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Subjective well-being, comparisons and reference groups in post-apartheid South Africa

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Subjective well-being, comparisons and reference groups in post-apartheid South Africa

Marisa Coetzee

University of Stellenbosch

South Africa

27 October 2011


Outline

  • Background

  • Theoretical Framework

  • Data

  • Results

  • Conclusions


Background

  • Subjective well-being / happiness (SWB)

  • Kingdon and Knight 2007 – the determinants of SWB in South Africa using 1993 PSLSD (SALDRU) data

  • Conclusions (briefly):

    • Relative income more NB than absolute income

    • Relative income more NB than other relative measures (e.g. unemployment and education)

    • Households are altruistic towards other households within the same residential cluster but compete with households in the same district and racial group

    • South Africans’ reference groups divided along racial lines


Theoretical Framework

  • Post apartheid, intra-race inequality has increased, while inter-race inequality decreased slightly.

  • Have all attempts by the SA government to integrate society been successful?

  • Pierre du Toit and Hennie Kotzè’s Liberal Democracy and Peace in South Africa (2011)

  • Racial divide in apartheid legislation further entrenched by affirmative action – “the re-racialization of society”

  • However, signs of racial integration from WVS data:

    • Increased tolerance towards other race groups

  • How does this affect South Africans’ reference group?


Data

  • National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS)

  • Sample of 7305 households (31170 individuals)

  • All individuals aged >=16 were asked about their SWB

  • First Wave (2008)


NIDS 2008


The question is …

  • However, no study verifying the results of Kingdon and Knight for post-apartheid SA

  • Is race still a deciding factor in determining the SWB of South Africans or has democracy changed the reference group?

  • Replicate the analysis by Kingdon and Knight (2007) but using NIDS data from 2008

  • Issues:

    • NIDS has 10-point scale versus 5-point scale for PSLSD (SALDRU) data

    • NIDS SWB question was asked at individual level, SALDRU at household level

  • Have to therefore include individual- and household-level variables


Subjective well-being and relative income across spatial reference groups

Notes: Reported results are coefficients from ordered probit regressions on subjective well-being categories. A full set of control variables are included, but not reported.

*** significance at 1% level, ** significance at 5% level, * significance at 10% level.


Race-specific relative income

Notes: Reported results are coefficients from ordered probit regressions on subjective well-being categories. A full set of control variables are included, but not reported.

*** significance at 1% level, ** significance at 5% level, * significance at 10% level.


The effect of Perceived Relative Income on subjective well-being

Notes: A full set of control variables are included, but not reported.

*** significance at 1% level, ** significance at 5% level, * significance at 10% level.


Perceived relative income and subjective well-being above and below the poverty line

Notes: A full set of control variables are included, but not reported.

*** significance at 1% level, ** significance at 5% level, * significance at 10% level.


Conclusions

  • Results from Kingdon and Knight’s study remain unchanged in relation to spatial reference groups

  • Altruism appears to be one possible explanation for the positive effect of education and employment levels of other households

  • However, racial division of reference groups seems to have changed

  • Appears to be pointing in the direction of a more racially integrated society


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