Self-assessed well-being and economic rank in South Africa

Type Journal Article - Development Southern Africa
Title Self-assessed well-being and economic rank in South Africa
Volume 31
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 51-64
This study explores subjective measures of well-being in South Africa collected in the first two waves of the National Income Dynamics Study. These subjective measures include individual life satisfaction, current self-assessed economic rank and expected economic rank in the future. The paper describes how the distributions of these measures have changed over the course of the panel and it investigates the relationship between life satisfaction and perceived economic rank in a multivariate context, controlling for individual fixed effects. The panel data suggest a leftward shift in the distribution of life satisfaction over the two waves. Moreover, the majority of adults did not perceive their economic rank as having improved and they reported lower expectations of future upward economic mobility. Perceptions of current and future economic rank are key correlates of life satisfaction, findings that remain robust to controls for unobserved individual heterogeneity

Related studies