General Welfare

Inequality in South Africa: what does a composite index of wellbeing reveal?

Policymakers need better information regarding wellbeing inequality to ascertain the contributing factors and to determine whether policy has been successful in improving the spread over time. In this paper, we construct a multidimensional composite wellbeing measure, at a micro level, which includes “economic and non-economic” and “objective and subjective measures” of wellbeing. We use NIDS data spanning the period 2008 – 2015. We compare the results on measuring wellbeing inequality using the composite index and income.

Construction and analysis of a composite quality of life index for a region of South Africa

This study employs a novel approach to measure and analyse quality of life in the Gauteng City-Region of South Africa. A comprehensive composite index is constructed. Comparing the quality of life of different groups, groups such as Africans, residents in urban informal settlements and females scoring relatively low. The weighting of the dimensions of quality of life is compared across groups, with ‘housing and infrastructure’ and ‘social relationships’ explaining the most variance for groups with lower and higher quality of life respectively.

Father's Employment and Sons' Stature: The Long Running Effects of a Positive Regional Employment Shock in South Africa's Mining Industry

I exploit the unexpected increase in employment in 1975, 76 and 77 in the South African homelands to compare the long term adult outcomes of children whose fathers benefitted from the employment increase to those who did not. Using a standard difference in difference approach I find that the shock affected males who were either newborn or in utero at the time, providing support to the fetal origins hypothesis and showing the importance of mother’s nutrition.

The Good African Society Index

This paper constructs a Good Society Index for 45 African countries, termed the Good African Society Index (GASI). The GASI consists of nine main indexes: (i) economic sustainability, (ii) democracy and freedom, (iii) child well-being, (iv) environment and infrastructure, (v) safety and security, (vi) health and health systems, (vii) integrity and justice, (viii) education, and (xi) social sustainability and social cohesion. Each component is split into four sub-components for a total of 36 indicators. Tunisia ranks highest on the GASI, followed by Cape Verde and Botswana.

Pricing of National Park Visits in Kenya: The Case of Lake Nakuru National Park

This study analyses the factors influencing pricing of National Park visits in Kenya. A two step regression procedure is used to develop a pricing mechanism for Lake Nakuru National Park (LNNP). In the first stage, count data models are applied to estimate the Trip generating function to LNNP and in the second, the results from count data models are used to simulate visitation as price varied through an increase in the gate fee to LNNP. The simulated data is used to estimate the demand curves for LNNP.

A reconsideration of what and who is middle class in South Africa

In this paper, we revisit 'what and who' is middle class in South Africa using data collected in the 2008 National Income Dynamics Study. First we consider how to identify the middle class based on two broad definitions adopted in the international literature: a middle class defined by the middle share of the national income distribution; and a middle class defined by an absolute level of affluence and lifestyle.

Relative standing and subjective well-being in South Africa: The role of perceptions, expectations and income mobility

Most studies that explore the impact of relative standing on subjective well-being use objective measures of the individual’s relative position, such as the mean income of the reference group or the individual’s ranking in the relevant income distribution. In this paper, using a new household survey from South Africa, we are able to derive subjective measures of relative standing, as information is collected on individuals’ perceptions of where they rank in the income distribution.

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