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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. 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.
  2. Knabe, Andreas & Rätzel, Steffen & Schöb, Ronnie & Weimann, Joachim, 2009. "Dissatisfied with life, but having a good day: time-use and well-being of the unemployed," Discussion Papers 2009/13, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  3. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, March.
  4. 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.
  5. Andrew Clark, 2001. "Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," DELTA Working Papers 2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. Clark, Andrew E. & Knabe, Andreas & Rätzel, Steffen, 2009. "Boon or Bane? Others' Unemployment, Well-being and Job Insecurity," IZA Discussion Papers 4210, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Andrew E. Clark & Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel, 2008. "Boon or Bane? Others' unemployment, well-being and job insecurity," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586022, HAL.
  8. Alan B. Krueger & David A. Schkade, 2007. "The Reliability of Subjective Well-Being Measures," NBER Working Papers 13027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  10. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Andreas Knabe & Ronnie Schöb & Joachim Weimann, 2012. "Partnership, Gender Roles and the Well-Being Cost of Unemployment," FEMM Working Papers 120019, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  12. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel, 2007. "Quantifying the Psychological Costs of Unemployment: The Role of Permanent Income," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 32, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  13. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  14. Winkelmann, Rainer, 2006. "Unemployment, Social Capital, and Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 2346, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. 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).
  16. Alois Stutzer & Rafael Lalive, 2004. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 696-719, 06.
  17. 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.
  18. Clemens Hetschko & Andreas Knabe & Ronnie Schöb, 2011. "Changing Identity: Retiring from Unemployment," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 399, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  19. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00586022 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. repec:cup:cbooks:9781107001923 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
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