Unemployment Needs Context: How Societal Differences between Countries Moderate the Loss in Life-Satisfaction for the Unemployed
The notion of voluntary unemployment held by orthodox economic theory could be refuted by happiness research, showing that those unemployed experience a persistent loss in life-satisfaction. However, most current research addressing this question is conducted at the individual level or takes into account only simple economic aggregate indicators, such as unemployment rates or inflation. The effects of unemployment on life-satisfaction however are likely to vary between societies depending on factors beyond the economic realm. This paper demonstrates the need to consider a wider set of country-level characteristics, including economic, demographic and attitudinal indicators, if the relationship between unemployment and life-satisfaction is to be understood adequately. Using data from the World Values Survey multi-level models are computed for up to 40 European and Anglo-Saxon societies. While economic indicators such as GDP per capita and income inequality appear to be relevant, unemployment rates seem to not affect the relationship greatly, contrary to results from several previous studies. Other factors however do, either mitigating the loss in life-satisfaction when becoming unemployed (such as the mean level of the perception of autonomy in a society), or further depressing life-satisfaction (such as the mean emphasis of work in a society, the age-dependency ratio or the proportion of women in the labour force). Possible explanations are discussed and suggestions for improved further research made. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 14 (2013)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/social+sciences/wellbeing+%26+quality-of-life/journal/10902/PS2|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001.
"Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment,"
London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-41, May.
- Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1999. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Studies in Economics 9903, School of Economics, University of Kent.
- Marisa Salanova & Arnold Bakker & Susana Llorens, 2006. "Flow at Work: Evidence for an Upward Spiral of Personal and Organizational Resources," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 1-22, 03.
- Ruut Veenhoven, 1991. "Is happiness relative?," Social Indicators Research- An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 1-34, February.
- Green, Francis, 2011. "Unpacking the misery multiplier: How employability modifies the impacts of unemployment and job insecurity on life satisfaction and mental health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 265-276, March.
- Liman Li & Michael Bond, 2010. "Does Individual Secularism Promote Life Satisfaction? The Moderating Role of Societal Development," Social Indicators Research- An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 99(3), pages 443-453, December.
- Andrew Clark, 2001.
"Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data,"
DELTA Working Papers
2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- 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.
- Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
- Luo Lu & Robin Gilmour, 2004. "Culture and conceptions of happiness: individual oriented and social oriented swb," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 269-291, September.
- Badiâa Bouazzaoui & Etienne Mullet, 2005. "Employment And Family As Determinants Of Anticipated Life Satisfaction: Contrasting European And Maghrebi People’s Viewpoints," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 161-185, 06.
- Jan Delhey, 2010. "From Materialist to Post-Materialist Happiness? National Affluence and Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Cross-National Perspective," Social Indicators Research- An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 97(1), pages 65-84, May.
- Badiâa Bouazzaoui & Etienne Mullet, 2002. "Employment and Family as Determinants of Anticipated Life Satisfaction: Contrasting Young Adults’ and Elderly People’s Viewpoints," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 129-152, June.
- Hilke Brockmann, 2010. "Why are Middle-Aged People so Depressed? Evidence from West Germany," Social Indicators Research- An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 97(1), pages 23-42, May.
- Piet Ouweneel, 2002. "Social Security and Well-Being of the Unemployed in 42 Nations," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 167-192, June.
- Rainer Winkelmann, 2009.
"Unemployment, Social Capital, and Subjective Well-Being,"
Journal of Happiness Studies,
Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 421-430, August.
- Winkelmann, Rainer, 2006. "Unemployment, Social Capital, and Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 2346, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Luigi Bosco, 2005. "Happiness, Social Preferences and Economic Policy," Department of Economics University of Siena 459, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
- SonjaC. Kassenboehmer & JohnP. Haisken-DeNew, 2009. "You're Fired! The Causal Negative Effect of Entry Unemployment on Life Satisfaction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 448-462, 03.
- Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
- Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004.
"How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
- Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- Yukiko Uchida & Vinai Norasakkunkit & Shinobu Kitayama, 2004. "Cultural constructions of happiness: theory and emprical evidence," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 223-239, September.
- Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001.
"Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
- DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
- M. Pittau & Roberto Zelli & Andrew Gelman, 2010. "Economic Disparities and Life Satisfaction in European Regions," Social Indicators Research- An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 96(2), pages 339-361, April.
- Carola Grün & Wolfgang Hauser & Thomas Rhein, 2010. "Is Any Job Better than No Job? Life Satisfaction and Re-employment," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 285-306, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:14:y:2013:i:6:p:1657-1680. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.