New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2011‒10‒09
three papers chosen by

  1. Multidimensional Poverty in Kenya: Analysis of Maternal and Child Wellbeing By Jane Kabubo-Mariara; Anthony Wambugu; Susan Musau
  2. Exact Configuration of Poverty,Inequality and Polarization Trends in the Distribution of well-being in Cameroon By Francis Menjo Baye
  3. Homeownership and ill-being By Bloze, Gintautas; Skak, Morten

  1. By: Jane Kabubo-Mariara; Anthony Wambugu; Susan Musau
    Abstract: This paper generates multidimensional poverty profiles for women and children over a ten-year period from 1993 to 2003.Data from the national Demographic and Health Survey are used to improve measurement of poverty in Kenya in four ways: First, the paper constructs a composite wealth index (CWI). Second, it applies the Alkire and Foster (2007) approach to the measurement of multidimensional poverty based on the CWI and health status. Third, stochastic dominance approaches are used to make poverty orderings across groups. Fourth, the probability of being poor in assets, health or both is explored using a bivariate probit model. The results show that the distribution of poor women and children differs across groups, space and time. We also find that the CWI and residence in a rural area respectively contribute more to multidimensional poverty than health and residence in an urban area. The results further suggest that understanding the correlates of wellbeing in a multidimensional context can generate policy insights for improving human capital investments.
    Keywords: Multidimensional poverty, composite wealth indicator, child health, stochastic dominance, Kenya
    JEL: C43 D31 I31 I32
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Francis Menjo Baye
    Abstract: This study attempts to carry out a comprehensive analysis of poverty, inequality and polarization trends using Cameroon household surveys collected before and during the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) process. The theoretical decomposition frameworks propelling the study are motivated mainly by the Shapley value. Empirical estimates are obtained from the software DAD 4.4 using both money-metric and child nutrition indicators, and poverty lines, with the monetary threshold derived nonparametrically. Effects within-zones account for much of monetary poverty changes than effects between-zones. The findings that inter-zone effects contribute to alleviating rural poverty while aggravating urban poverty, suggests the potential for rural–urban migration to alleviate rural poverty. Changes in money-metric poverty and health deprivation sharply contrast each other. While health poverty deteriorated, income poverty retreated. This is an indication that economic growth may not necessarily engender significant reduction in all dimensions of well-being. Changes in health poverty are driven largely by effects of redistribution, whereas for income poverty the growth component seems to be more important. Both income and non-income dimensions highlight the dominant role of within-group components in accounting for inequality trends. However, while the between-group contributions to inequality are negligible in the health dimension, they are non-negligible in the income space. In terms of levels, polarization and inequality are more of an urban than a rural problem, yet inequality and polarization worsened only in rural areas in the period 1996–2001. As a whole, polarization indices do not give dissimilar trends from standard measures of inequality. The conflicting results from income and health well-being indicators are attributable to the observation that the economic rebound in Cameroon was preceded by fiscal austerity measures embedded in the Structural Adjustment Programmes that engendered a decline in the availability of public goods. Moreover, health indicators are slow-moving compared with income or expenditure, which does not include the quality of service received from social expenditures on health and nutrition. These results have implications for policy making: in terms of income deprivation, emphasis could be on growth-based labour-intensive policies that create opportunities for the rural poor to increase their incomes; and in terms of child health and perhaps general health, emphasis could be on redistribution of health infrastructure and personnel to increase outreach.
    Date: 2010–11
  3. By: Bloze, Gintautas (Department of Business and Economics); Skak, Morten (Department of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: Social policy aims to relieve the ill-being of low income groups, and housing policies in many European countries promote homeownership for low-income households. Previous economic research on subjective well-being seems to indicate that homeownership increases subjective well-being, but little research is done on the relations between homeownership and ill-being. The present study tries to fill some of this gap by use of panel data from three Danish surveys on living conditions in the years 1976, 1986 and 2000.
    Keywords: Ill-being; subjective well-being; homeownership
    JEL: D10 I10 R20
    Date: 2011–08–01

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