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The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being

  • Alois Stutzer

    (University of Zurich)

  • Rafael Lalive

    (University of Zurich)

Social norms are usually neglected in economics, because they are to a large extent enforced through nonmarket interactions and difficult to isolate empirically. In this paper, we offer a direct measure of the social norm to work and we show that this norm has important economic effects. The stronger the norm, the more quickly unemployed people find a new job. This behavior can be explained by utility differences, probably due to social pressure. Unemployed people are significantly less happy than employed people and their reduction in life satisfac-tion is the larger, the stronger the norm is. (JEL: I31, J64) Copyright (c) 2004 The European Economic Association.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 2 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (06)
Pages: 696-719

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:2:y:2004:i:4:p:696-719
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