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Experienced Well-Being and Labor Market Status: The Role of Pleasure and Meaning

Author

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  • Tobias Wolf
  • Maria Metzing
  • Richard E. Lucas

Abstract

This paper examines experienced well-being of employed and unemployed workers. We use the survey-adapted day reconstruction method (DRM) of the Innovation Sample of the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP-IS) to analyze the role of the employment status for well-being, incorporating complete time use. Summarizing the average share of pleasurable minutes, we generate the P-index. We show that - in contrast to evaluative life satisfaction - the average unemployed experiences more pleasurable minutes due to the absence of working episodes. Hence, we examine working episodes in depth. While working is among the activities with the highest propensities for an unpleasant experience, it is also among the most meaningful activities. We show that meaning is a central non-monetary determinant for a pleasurable work episode and find that pleasure during work and job satisfaction in general have the same association with meaning.

Suggested Citation

  • Tobias Wolf & Maria Metzing & Richard E. Lucas, 2019. "Experienced Well-Being and Labor Market Status: The Role of Pleasure and Meaning," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1043, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp1043
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.669366.de/diw_sp1043.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nikolova, Milena & Cnossen, Femke, 2020. "What makes work meaningful and why economists should care about it," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    2. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experienced well-being; time use; Unemployment; Day Reconstruction Method; DRM; SOEP-IS;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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