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Unemployment and Identity

  • Ronnie Schöb

This paper employs social identity and self-categorization theories as a useful heuristic framework through which to learn more about the nature of the misery experienced by the unemployed; in economic terms, the individual cost of unemployment. Utilizing this framework, the paper provides different empirical identification strategies in order to disentangle the various means through which unemployment alters both the well-being and utility of an individual and shows, by reviewing some of the recent research in which I have participated, that unemployment primarily threatens an individual’s identity rather than reducing the instantaneous utility derived from day-to-day experiences.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3991.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3991
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  1. Andrew Clark, 2001. "Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," DELTA Working Papers 2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. Andreas Knabe & Ronnie Schöb & Joachim Weimann, 2012. "Partnership, Gender Roles and the Well-Being Cost of Unemployment," FEMM Working Papers 120019, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  3. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel & Ronnie Schöb & Steffen Rätzel & Joachim Weimann, 2009. "Dissatisfied with life, but having a good day- time-use and well-being of the unemployed," FEMM Working Papers 09011, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  4. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, July.
  5. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel, 2008. "Scarring or Scaring? The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment and Future Unemployment Risk," CESifo Working Paper Series 2457, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Ratzel, 2011. "Quantifying the psychological costs of unemployment: the role of permanent income," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(21), pages 2751-2763.
  7. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  8. Clemens Hetschko & Andreas Knabe & Ronnie Schöb, 2011. "Changing Identity: Retiring from Unemployment," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 399, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  9. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  10. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2007. "Are there Geographical Variations in the Psychological Cost of Unemployment in South Africa?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 80(3), pages 629-652, February.
  11. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  12. Andrew E. Clark & Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel, 2010. "Boon or bane? Others' unemployment, well-being and job insecurity," Post-Print halshs-00754489, HAL.
  13. Krueger, Alan B. & Schkade, David A., 2008. "The reliability of subjective well-being measures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1833-1845, August.
  14. Rainer Winkelmann, 2009. "Unemployment, Social Capital, and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 421-430, August.
  15. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2008. "The Lot of the Unemployed: A Time Use Perspective," Working Papers 1062, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  16. Michael Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price & Mark Wooden, 2009. "Life satisfaction and the economic and social characteristics of neighbourhoods," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 421-443, April.
  17. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Adrian Chadi, 2013. "Regional Unemployment and Norm-Induced Effects on Life Satisfaction," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201306, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  19. Alois Stutzer & Rafael Lalive, 2004. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 696-719, 06.
  20. repec:oup:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:3:p:715-753 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Workfare versus Welfare Incentive Arguments for Work Requirements in Poverty-Alleviation Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 249-61, March.
  22. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00586022 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Paul Dolan & Daniel Kahneman, 2008. "Interpretations Of Utility And Their Implications For The Valuation Of Health," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 215-234, 01.
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