Social Indicators Research

, Volume 80, Issue 3, pp 629–652

Are there Geographical Variations in the Psychological Cost of Unemployment in South Africa?


DOI: 10.1007/s11205-006-0013-z

Cite this article as:
Powdthavee, N. Soc Indic Res (2007) 80: 629. doi:10.1007/s11205-006-0013-z


Are certain groups of unemployed individuals hurt less by unemployment than others? This paper is an attempt to test the hypothesis that non-pecuniary costs of unemployment may vary between societies with different unemployment rates. Using cross-sectional data from the SALDRU93 survey, I show that households’ perceptions of life satisfaction are inversely related to household unemployment for South Africa as to be expected in richer countries. Reported well-being levels are shown to be associated negatively with others’ unemployment at the geographical cluster level for the employed. However, unemployment appears to hurt less for the household if unemployment rates in the local labour market are high.


quality of life unemployment social norm South Africa 

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Economics of Education, Bedford Group, The Institute of EducationUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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