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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences
Title The determinants of subjective well-being in South Africa-an exploratory enquiry
Volume 6
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 179-194
URL http://journals.co.za/docserver/fulltext/jefs/6/1/jefs_v6_n1_a11.pdf?expires=1510419727&id=id&accnam​e=guest&checksum=5B1B12ECC95E0A7E0615EC1683002D59
The study of subjective well-being is no longer on the periphery of study in the field of economics. A
significant body of literature exists on the determinants of subjective well-being in the developed
world. This paper uses the first wave of the National Income Dynamics Survey (NIDS) dataset to
investigate the determinants of subjective well-being in South Africa, involving a broad range of
economic, socio-economic and attitudinal variables identified from literature. Ordinary Least
Squares and ordered probit estimations reveal that age, race, level of income, years of education,
gender, marital status and the number of children explain varying levels of well-being. Unlike studies
in the developed world, respondents’ height, health and residence in urban areas do not explain wellbeing.
Two of the surprising findings point towards the significant influence of religion and provincial
location in determining well-being in South Africa.

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