New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2010‒04‒24
two papers chosen by

  1. Has civil society helped the poor? - A review of the roles and contributions of civil society to poverty reduction? By Solava Ibrahim; David Hulme
  2. Housing wealth or economic climate: Why do house prices matter for well-being? By Anita Ratcliffe

  1. By: Solava Ibrahim; David Hulme
    Abstract: This paper sets out to explore the achievements of civil society in the area of poverty reduction. The focus is mainly on three domains (1) Advocacy; (2) Policy Change and (3) Service Delivery. Three case studies illustrate how poverty can be addressed at various levels and through different approaches: (1) Shack Dwellers International (SDI) operating internationally to advocate for the urban poor’s rights; (2) civil society organizations participating in the formulation of PRSPs to call for pro-poor policy reforms at the national level; and finally (3) the example of BRAC (formerly the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) providing services to the poorest at the grassroots level. Drawing on these case studies, the paper explains the keys to success and reasons for failure of civil society organizations in tackling poverty reduction effectively. It concludes by pointing out the challenges faced by civil society in the area of poverty reduction and presents recommendations on ‘what is still missing’ for civil society to play a more effective role in poverty reduction.
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Anita Ratcliffe
    Abstract: This study investigates whether and why house prices matter for well-being. House prices may influence well-being via a wealth/access-to-credit mechanism, as a rise in prices increases housing wealth and the collateral value of a house, and via a relative concerns mechanism, if renters compare themselves to homeowners and vice versa. Alternatively, any correlation between house prices and well-being may simply reflect broader economic conditions rather than a causal effect. Using local area house price data, this study distinguishes between these alternative explanations by comparing the correlation between local house prices and well-being for homeowners and renters. A small positive correlation between house prices and well-being exists for both homeowners and renters, indicating the absence of a wealth/credit mechanism or relative concerns mechanism. This correlation cannot be explained by economic variables such as local unemployment, earnings or earnings expectations, hinting at a purely psychological phenomenon.
    Keywords: Well-being, House prices, Wealth, Economic climate
    JEL: I1 D12
    Date: 2010–04

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