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Unemployment and Identity

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  • Ronnie Schöb

Abstract

This paper employs social identity and self-categorization theories as a useful heuristic framework through which to learn more about the nature of the misery experienced by the unemployed; in economic terms, the individual cost of unemployment. Utilizing this framework, the paper provides different empirical identification strategies in order to disentangle the various means through which unemployment alters both the well-being and utility of an individual and shows, by reviewing some of the recent research in which I have participated, that unemployment primarily threatens an individual’s identity rather than reducing the instantaneous utility derived from day-to-day experiences.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-11/cesifo1_wp3991.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3991.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3991

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Keywords: involuntary unemployment; identity; affective well-being; cognitive well-being;

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References

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  1. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, September.
  3. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  5. Hetschko, Clemens & Knabe, Andreas & Schöb, Ronnie, 2011. "Changing identity: Retiring from unemployment," Discussion Papers 2011/11, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  6. Andrew Clark & Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel, 2008. "Boon or Bane?: Others' Unemployment, Well-Being and Job Insecurity," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 153, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  7. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00586022 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel & Ronnie Schöb & Joachim Weimann, 2010. "Dissatisfied with Life but Having a Good Day: Time-use and Well-being of the Unemployed," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(547), pages 867-889, 09.
  9. Adrian Chadi, 2011. "Regional Unemployment and Norm-Induced Effects on Life Satisfaction," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 387, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  10. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
  11. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel, 2007. "Quantifying the psychological costs of unemployment: the role of permanent income," FEMM Working Papers 07012, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  12. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2008. "The Lot of the Unemployed: A Time Use Perspective," Working Papers 1062, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  13. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  14. Krueger, Alan B. & Schkade, David A., 2007. "The Reliability of Subjective Well-Being Measures," IZA Discussion Papers 2724, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Davis,John B., 2010. "Individuals and Identity in Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107001923, April.
  16. Andreas Knabe & Ronnie Schöb & Joachim Weimann, 2012. "Partnership, Gender Roles and the Well-Being Cost of Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 3932, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. Rainer Winkelmann, 2009. "Unemployment, Social Capital, and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 421-430, August.
  18. Michael Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price & Mark Wooden, 2009. "Life satisfaction and the economic and social characteristics of neighbourhoods," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 421-443, April.
  19. Paul Dolan & Daniel Kahneman, 2008. "Interpretations Of Utility And Their Implications For The Valuation Of Health," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 215-234, 01.
  20. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel, 2011. "Scarring or Scaring? The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment and Future Unemployment Risk," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 78(310), pages 283-293, 04.
  21. Stutzer, Alois & Lalive, Rafael, 2001. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Workfare versus Welfare Incentive Arguments for Work Requirements in Poverty-Alleviation Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 249-61, March.
  23. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2007. "Are there Geographical Variations in the Psychological Cost of Unemployment in South Africa?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 80(3), pages 629-652, February.
  24. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
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