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Life satisfaction and education in South Africa: Investigating the role of attainment and the likelihood of education as a positional good

21 May 2013
Author: Ferdi Botha
Publication Type: Working Paper
JEL Code: I2, Z13

This paper explores various dynamics in the relationship between life satisfaction and education in South Africa using the 2008 National Income Dynamics Survey. The results indicate a strong positive association between educational attainment and individual satisfaction with life, which is true in the overall sample and for men and women. This positive relationship also holds for Black and Coloured individuals, but is insignificant in the Asian and White samples. Evidence indicates that education is a positional good, in that people who have attained more than the mean level of education in their relevant cluster are significantly more satisfied with life compared to those possessing less than the mean education.

Series title: Working paper 349
1 May 2013
Journal: Social Indicators Research
24 September 2013
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