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Unhappiness and job finding

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  • Gielen, Anne
  • van Ours, Jan C

Abstract

It is puzzling that people feel quite unhappy when they become unemployed, while at the same time active labor market policies are needed to bring unemployed back to work more quickly. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we investigate whether there is indeed such a puzzle. First, we find that nearly half of the unemployed do not experience a drop in happiness, which might explain why at least some workers need to be activated. In addition to that, we find that even though unemployed who experience a drop in happiness search more actively for a job, it does not speed up their job finding. Apparently, there is no link between unhappiness and the speed of job finding. Hence, there is no contradiction between unemployed being unhappy and the need for activation policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Gielen, Anne & van Ours, Jan C, 2012. "Unhappiness and job finding," CEPR Discussion Papers 8842, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8842
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rowena Pecchenino, 2014. "The Economic Consequences of Despair," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n254-14.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    2. Lídia Farré & Francesco Fasani & Hannes Mueller, 2018. "Feeling useless: the effect of unemployment on mental health in the Great Recession," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 7(1), pages 1-34, December.
    3. Rose, Damaris & Stavrova, Olga, 2019. "Does life satisfaction predict reemployment? Evidence form German panel data," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-11.
    4. Angeles Sánchez & María J. Ruiz-Martos, 2018. "Europe 2020 Strategy and Citizens’ Life Satisfaction," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(8), pages 2315-2338, December.
    5. Krause-Pilatus, Annabelle, 2014. "Happiness and Work," IZA Discussion Papers 8435, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Clemens Hetschko, 2016. "On the misery of losing self-employment," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 461-478, August.
    7. Max Deter, 2020. "Are the Losers of Communism the Winners of Capitalism? The Effects of Conformism in the GDR on Transition Success," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1102, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    8. Z. Bilgen Susanlı, 2018. "Life satisfaction and unemployment in Turkey: evidence from Life Satisfaction Surveys 2004–2013," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 479-499, January.
    9. Martin Binder & Alex Coad, 2015. "Unemployment impacts differently on the extremes of the distribution of a comprehensive well-being measure," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(8), pages 619-627, May.
    10. Adrian Chadi & Clemens Hetschko, 2017. "Income or Leisure? On the Hidden Benefits of (Un-)Employment," CESifo Working Paper Series 6567, CESifo.
    11. Martin Binder, 2015. "Do it with joy: Subjective well-being outcomes of working in non-profit organizations," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2015-03, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    12. Adrian Chadi & Clemens Hetschko, 2017. "Income or Leisure? On the Hidden Benefits of (Un-)Employment," CESifo Working Paper Series 6567, CESifo.
    13. Gerhard Krug & Katrin Drasch & Monika Jungbauer-Gans, 2019. "The social stigma of unemployment: consequences of stigma consciousness on job search attitudes, behaviour and success," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, December.
    14. Krause, Annabelle, 2013. "Don’t worry, be happy? Happiness and reemployment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 1-20.
    15. Wolf, Tobias, 2020. "Welfare while working: How does the life satisfaction approach help to explain job search behavior?," Discussion Papers 2020/14, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    16. Jianbo Luo, 2020. "A Pecuniary Explanation for the Heterogeneous Effects of Unemployment on Happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 21(7), pages 2603-2628, October.
    17. Lars Kunze & Nicolai Suppa, 2020. "Who Is Bowling Alone? Quantile Treatment Effects of Unemployment on Social Participation," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1077, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    18. Max Deter, 2020. "Hartz and Minds: Happiness Effects of Reforming an Employment Agency," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1106, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    19. Binder, Martin, 2016. "“…Do it with joy!” – Subjective well-being outcomes of working in non-profit organizations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 64-84.
    20. Carol Graham, 2005. "The Economics of Happiness," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 6(3), pages 41-55, July.
    21. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & Christian Krekel & George Ward, 2019. "Employee Wellbeing, Productivity and Firm Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp1605, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Happiness; Unemployment duration;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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