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Happiness-lost: Did Governments make the right decisions to combat Covid-19?

Talita Greyling (), Stephanie Rossouw and Tamanna Adhikari

No 556, GLO Discussion Paper Series from Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Abstract: Amidst the rapid global spread of Covid-19, many governments enforced country-wide lockdowns, with likely severe well-being consequences. The actions by governments triggered a debate on whether the well-being and economic costs of a lockdown surpass the benefits perceived from a lower infection rate. In this regard, South Africa is an extreme case: enforcing very stringent lockdown regulations, while amid an economic crisis. We analyse the impact of both Covid-19 and the lockdown on happiness. We use the Gross National Happiness Index to compare the determinants of happiness before and after the Covid-19 lockdown regulations. Further, we estimate the likelihood of happiness levels in 2020, reaching the average levels in 2019 using two models; one predicting the likelihood after the lockdown was enforced and the other if no lockdown regulations were in place. The results shed light on happiness outcomes in a scenario of lockdown versus no lockdown.

Keywords: Happiness; Covid-19; Big data; Regulations; Probabilities; South Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C55 I12 I31 J18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:glodps:556

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