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Thinking about it: a note on attention and well-being losses from unemployment

Author

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  • Paul Dolan
  • Nattavudh Powdthavee

Abstract

This article investigates Schkade and Kahneman's (1998) maxim that ‘Nothing in life is quite as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.’ This article shows that whilst becoming unemployed hurts psychologically, unemployment has a greater impact on happiness if the person also regards it as an important event that took place in the last year. This finding, particularly if it is replicated for other domains, such as health and income, will have important implications for how we think about the impact of objective circumstances on well-being and about well-being more generally.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Dolan & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2012. "Thinking about it: a note on attention and well-being losses from unemployment," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 325-328, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:19:y:2012:i:4:p:325-328
    DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2011.577000
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Knabe & Ronnie Schöb & Joachim Weimann, 2016. "Partnership, Gender, and the Well-Being Cost of Unemployment," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 1255-1275, December.
    2. Edsel Beja, 2015. "The Focusing Illusion and Happiness: Evidence Using College Basketball Championship," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 121(3), pages 873-885, April.
    3. Beja, Edsel Jr., 2013. "Focusing on the Focusing Illusion..," MPRA Paper 44366, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General

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