ABSTRACT

The relationship between happiness and income has been at the center of a vibrant debate, with both intrinsic and instrumental importance, as emotional states are an important determinant of health and social behavior. We investigate whether a government-run unconditional cash transfer paid directly to women in poor house-holds had an impact on self-reported happiness. The evaluation was designed as a cluster-randomized controlled trial in rural Zambia across 90 communities. The program led to a 7.5 to 10 percentage point impact on women’s happiness after 36- and 48-months, respectively (or 0.19–0.25 standard deviations over the control group mean). In addition, women have higher overall satisfaction regarding their young children’s well-being, including in-dicators of satisfaction with their children’s health and positive outlook on their children’s future. Complementary analysis suggests that self-assessed relative poverty (as measured by comparison to other households in the community) is a more important mediator of program effects on happiness than absolute poverty (as measured by household consumption expenditures). Although typically not the focus of such eva-luations, impacts on psychosocial indicators, including happiness, should not be discounted as important out-comes, as they capture different, non-material, holistic aspects of an individual’s overall level of well-being.

Biofield Science Special Issue

Become a CHI subscriber (it's free!) and get complimentary access to this groundbreaking peer-review journal published by Global Advances in Health and Medicine on Biofield Science and Healing.

Subscribe

Dynamic Infographic On Biofield Therapies

This dynamic infographic allows you to interact with the data from a recent systematic review of human randomized controlled trials reporting use of only nonphysical contact treatment.

Explore Infographics

CHI on Facebook: