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

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

Marisa Coetzee

University of Stellenbosch

South Africa

27 October 2011


Outline

Outline

  • Background

  • Theoretical Framework

  • Data

  • Results

  • Conclusions


Subjective well being comparisons and reference groups in post apartheid south africa

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


Subjective well being comparisons and reference groups in post apartheid south africa

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?


Subjective well being comparisons and reference groups in post apartheid south africa

Data

  • National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS)

  • Sample of 7305 households (31170 individuals)

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

  • First Wave (2008)


Subjective well being comparisons and reference groups in post apartheid south africa

NIDS 2008


Subjective well being comparisons and reference groups in post apartheid south africa

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 comparisons and reference groups in post apartheid south africa

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

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

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

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

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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