Subjective Well-being and Social Assistance: Lessons from Kazakhstan

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: IRES Library, Gamla torget 3, 3rd floor
  • Organiser: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES)
  • Contact person: Mattias Vesterlund
  • Föreläsning

This paper investigates the effectiveness of social assistance on subjective well-being (SWB) in the case of Kazakhstan. For this purpose, we explore the policy changes of 2019 and 2020 in regards to social assistance using difference in differences (DiD) statistical technique. The empirical results support the previous studies that found, in short run, the recipient of social assistance exhibits relatively higher levels of subjective well-being. We find that social assistance brings an incremental increase in Happiness for the recipients who are handicapped and female, while a positive increase is seen under Life Satisfaction for the treatment group with disability. As the number of handicapped household members increases we saw a decrease in the subjective well-being indices. Moreover, we find that the significant effects on subjective well-being disappear for the younger generations. By contrast, the effect is positive and statistically significant for the older, who seem to be more egalitarian and support the redistributions from oil revenues. For female individuals, the statistically significant effect of state intervention does not hold, while it persists in case of male.

Alma Kudebayeva is Associate Professor at the Department of Economics, KIMEP University, Kazakhstan, specializing on issues of poverty, well-being and labor economics. She holds doctorates in Development Economics from the University of Manchester and in Mathematics from al-Farabi Kazakh National University. Kudebayeva provided expertise on inequality and poverty assessment with the United Nations and the World Bank in a consultative capacity. She contributed to the IZA/DFID Growth and Labour Markets in Low Income Countries Programme and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s project on gender and employment in Central Asia. She was a Fulbright scholar at Indiana University and an Erasmus Research Fellow at DIW (Berlin). Dr. Kudebayeva is a contributor of the chapter to the book “Post-Soviet Women New Challenges and Ways to Empowerment” edited by Ann-Mari Sätre, Yulia Gradskova  and Vladislava Vladimirova in 2023. She has published her works in Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of International Development, Europe-Asia Studies, Economic Systems, Journal of Happiness Studies, and Central Asian Survey.