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Who benefits from labor market institutions? Evidence from surveys of life satisfaction

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  • Ochsen, Carsten
  • Welsch, Heinz

Abstract

This paper investigates the welfare effects of labor market institutions, placing an emphasis on how the institutions’ effects are differentiated by socio-demographic subgroups. We study how life satisfaction is affected by employment protection and the level and duration of unemployment benefit payments. Using data for almost 370,000 individuals in ten European countries, 1975–2002, we find that more employment protection and a higher benefit replacement rate increase the life satisfaction of the average citizen. At the subgroup level, different segments of the population are affected differently by the two categories of labor market institutions. While employment protection is valued especially by employed persons of intermediate age, it is less beneficial for women/housewives and for older persons. More generous unemployment insurance is valued especially by these latter subgroups and by the unemployed.

Suggested Citation

  • Ochsen, Carsten & Welsch, Heinz, 2012. "Who benefits from labor market institutions? Evidence from surveys of life satisfaction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 112-124.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:33:y:2012:i:1:p:112-124 DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2011.08.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Tiefenbach & Florian Kohlbacher, 2015. "Happiness in Japan in Times of Upheaval: Empirical Evidence from the National Survey on Lifestyle Preferences," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 333-366, April.
    2. Lücke, Christine, 2017. "How much does others’ protection matter? Employment protection and well-being," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168096, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Adrian Chadi & Clemens Hetschko, 2013. "Flexibilisation without Hesitation? Temporary Contracts and Workers’ Satisfaction," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201304, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    4. Romina Boarini & Margherita Comola & Femke Keulenaer & Robert Manchin & Conal Smith, 2013. "Can Governments Boost People’s Sense of Well-Being? The Impact of Selected Labour Market and Health Policies on Life Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(1), pages 105-120, October.
    5. Ochsen, Carsten, 2008. "Subjective well-being and the duration of aggregate unemployment in Europe," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 97, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    6. Dräger, Vanessa, 2015. "Do Employment Protection Reforms Affect Well-Being?," IZA Discussion Papers 9114, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment protection; Unemployment benefit; Macroeconomic uncertainty; Life satisfaction; Happiness;

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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