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DT 09/19 - Are not any silver in the cloud? Subjective well-being among deprived young people

Young people suffer higher levels of deprivation than older people, mainly in developing countries. They not only deal with social obstacles to getting a job or to staying in the education system, but they can also erect barriers which prevent them from achieving desirable trajectories in the future. We analyze the effect of a Social Intermediation Program (JeR) on Subjective Well-being and present how SWB is constructed and the different channels of its change. We develop a simple theoretical model to link subjective well- being with the individual and reference wealth, the effort and the level of aspirations, and how they can be affected by JeR. To overcome selection issues and to be able to identify causal effects, we estimate the model through instrumental variables using distance in meters between the individual house and the closest JeR center. We find a negative impact of JeR on Subjective Well-being and the main channel of this change is through Subjective Relative Wealth, i.e., the relation between the individual and the reference wealth, but there is no effect through the other theoretical channels: the levels of effort or aspirations. These results are heterogeneous by psychological features; they are higher among those with low aspiration levels and external locus of control. We also find JeR has a positive effect on the dispersion of SWB, pushing down those on the left part of the distribution and maintaining SWR as the main channel. Finally, we disentangle the main program characteristics that might generate this effect giving relevant information for the policymakers.
 
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