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
Volume (Year): 14 (2013)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/content/1389-4978|
|Order Information:||Web: http://link.springer.de/orders.htm|
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.:
- Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1999.
"Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment,"
Studies in Economics
9903, School of Economics, University of Kent.
- Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-41, May.
- 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).
- Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ruut Veenhoven, 1991. "Is happiness relative?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 1-34, February.
- 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.
- Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
- M. Pittau & Roberto Zelli & Andrew Gelman, 2010. "Economic Disparities and Life Satisfaction in European Regions," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 96(2), pages 339-361, April.
- 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.
- Jan Delhey, 2010. "From Materialist to Post-Materialist Happiness? National Affluence and Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Cross-National Perspective," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 97(1), pages 65-84, May.
- 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.
- 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.
- Liman Li & Michael Bond, 2010. "Does Individual Secularism Promote Life Satisfaction? The Moderating Role of Societal Development," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 99(3), pages 443-453, December.
- 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, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
- Hilke Brockmann, 2010. "Why are Middle-Aged People so Depressed? Evidence from West Germany," Social Indicators Research, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Luigi Bosco, 2005. "Happiness, Social Preferences and Economic Policy," Department of Economics University of Siena 459, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
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: (Guenther Eichhorn)or (Christopher F Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.