Background: Since the early 1980s, many governments have investigated the possibility of utilising access to microloans as a pathway to grow economies out of unemployment and thereby improve people's quality of life. Studies that have previously investigated the impact of microloans found a positive relationship to quality of life. Unfortunately, these studies mainly measure quality of life using monetary (income) measures rather than assessing the entire multidimensionality of quality of life.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between population density and non-economic quality of life. Popular opinion has generally been that population density can be seen as beneficial for economic growth, as it allows for greater productivity, greater incomes and can be translated into higher levels of quality of life. Recently though, growing evidence tends to suggest the exact opposite in that increases in productivity and incomes are not translated into better quality of life.
South Africa has since 1994 consistently and aggressively increased excise taxes on cigarettes in order to maintain a total tax burden of around 50% of the average retail selling price. The tax rises have translated into large increases in the inflation-adjusted price of cigarettes. For instance, the average real price per pack increased by 110% between 1994 and 2004. This paper uses a transparent and data-driven technique, the Synthetic Control method, to evaluate the impact on cigarette consumption of South Africa’s large-scale tobacco tax increases.