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Unemployment and Identity

  • Ronnie Schöb

This article 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 article 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. Copyright The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cesifo/ifs040
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Article provided by CESifo in its journal CESifo Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 59 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 149-180

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:59:y:2013:i:1:p:149-180
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  1. 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.
  2. Clemens Hetschko & Andreas Knabe & Ronnie Schöb, 2011. "Changing Identity: Retiring from Unemployment," FEMM Working Papers 110017, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  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. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00586022 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Alan B. Krueger & David A. Schkade, 2007. "The Reliability of Subjective Well-Being Measures," Working Papers 64, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9781107001923 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345.
  15. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2000. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," NBER Working Papers 7487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Rainer Winkelmann, 2009. "Unemployment, Social Capital, and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 421-430, August.
  17. 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.
  18. Andrew E. Clark & Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel, 2008. "Boon or Bane? Others' unemployment, well-being and job insecurity," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586022, HAL.
  19. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  20. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel, 2008. "Scarring or Scaring? The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment and Future Unemployment Risk," CESifo Working Paper Series 2457, CESifo Group Munich.
  21. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas I. Mueller, 2012. "The Lot Of The Unemployed: A Time Use Perspective," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 765-794, 08.
  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. Adrian Chadi, 2013. "Regional Unemployment and Norm-Induced Effects on Life Satisfaction," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201306, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  24. 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.
  25. 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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