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Regional unemployment and norm-induced effects on life satisfaction

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  • Adrian Chadi

Abstract

While rising unemployment generally reduces people’s happiness, researchers argue that there is a compensating social-norm effect for the unemployed individual, who might suffer less when it is more common to be unemployed. This empirical study rejects this thesis for German panel data, however, and finds that individual unemployment is even more hurtful when regional unemployment is higher. On the other hand, an extended model that separately considers individuals who feel stigmatised from living off public funds yields strong evidence that this group of people does in fact suffer less when the normative pressure to earn one’s own living is lower. A comprehensive discussion reconciles these findings with the existing research and concludes that to find evidence for the often described social-norm effect it is worthwhile to analyse disutility associated with benefit receipts. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Adrian Chadi, 2014. "Regional unemployment and norm-induced effects on life satisfaction," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 1111-1141, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:46:y:2014:i:3:p:1111-1141
    DOI: 10.1007/s00181-013-0712-7
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    Cited by:

    1. Drydakis, Nick, 2015. "The effect of unemployment on self-reported health and mental health in Greece from 2008 to 2013: A longitudinal study before and during the financial crisis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 43-51.
    2. repec:zbw:rwirep:0510 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Howley, P. & Knight, S., 2016. "The externality cost of neighbour’s at work: Social norm induced effects on well-being," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/34, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    4. Helmut Rainer & Clara Albrecht & Stefan Bauernschuster & Anita Fichtl & Timo Hener & Joachim Ragnitz, 2018. "Deutschland 2017 - Studie zu den Einstellungen und Verhaltensweisen der Bürgerinnen und Bürger im vereinigten Deutschland," ifo Forschungsberichte, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 96.
    5. Wolf, Tobias & Hetschko, Clemens & Schöb, Ronnie, 2016. "Income Support, (Un-)Employment and Well-Being," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145860, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Adrian Chadi & Clemens Hetschko, 2017. "Income or Leisure? On the Hidden Benefits of (Un-)Employment," CESifo Working Paper Series 6567, CESifo.
    7. Johannes Vatter, 2012. "Well-Being in Germany: What Explains the Regional Variation?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 435, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    8. Hansen, Kerstin F. & Stutzer, Alois, 2020. "Parental Unemployment, Social Insurance and Child Well-Being across Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 13752, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Angeles Sánchez & María J. Ruiz-Martos, 2018. "Europe 2020 Strategy and Citizens’ Life Satisfaction," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(8), pages 2315-2338, December.
    10. Hetschko, Clemens & Knabe, Andreas & Schöb, Ronnie, 2021. "Happiness, Work, and Identity," GLO Discussion Paper Series 783, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    11. Ronnie Schöb, 2013. "Unemployment and Identity," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(1), pages 149-180, March.
    12. Johannes Vatter, 2012. "Well-Being in Germany: GDP and Unemployment Still Matter," RatSWD Working Papers 196, German Data Forum (RatSWD).
    13. Kunze, Lars & Suppa, Nicolai, 2017. "Bowling alone or bowling at all? The effect of unemployment on social participation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 213-235.
    14. Jianbo Luo, 2020. "A Pecuniary Explanation for the Heterogeneous Effects of Unemployment on Happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 21(7), pages 2603-2628, October.
    15. Suppa, Nicolai, 2021. "Unemployment and subjective well-being," GLO Discussion Paper Series 760, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    16. Vatter, Johannes, 2012. "Well-being in Germany: What explains the regional variation?," FZG Discussion Papers 50, University of Freiburg, Research Center for Generational Contracts (FZG).
    17. Hetschko, Clemens & Schöb, Ronnie & Wolf, Tobias, 2020. "Income support, employment transitions and well-being," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    18. Lars Kunze & Nicolai Suppa, 2014. "Bowling Alone or Bowling at All? The Effect of Unemployment on Social Participation," Ruhr Economic Papers 0510, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    19. Z. Bilgen Susanlı, 2018. "Life satisfaction and unemployment in Turkey: evidence from Life Satisfaction Surveys 2004–2013," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 479-499, January.
    20. Andreas Knabe & Ronnie Schöb & Joachim Weimann, 2012. "Partnership, Gender Roles and the Well-Being Cost of Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 3932, CESifo.
    21. Wen-Hao Chen & Feng Hou, 2019. "The Effect of Unemployment on Life Satisfaction: A Cross-National Comparison Between Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 14(4), pages 1035-1058, September.
    22. Howley, P.; & Knight, S.;, 2018. "Taking pleasure from neighbours’ misfortune: Comparison effects, social norms and the well-being of the unemployed," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 18/02, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    23. Chun-Hung A. Lin & Suchandra Lahiri & Ching-Po Hsu, 2017. "Happiness and Globalization: A Spatial Econometric Approach," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 18(6), pages 1841-1857, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social norms; Regional unemployment; Individual unemployment; Well-being; Social benefits; Labour market policies; I3; J6;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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