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The Effect of Subsidized Employment on Happiness

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  • Benjamin Crost

Abstract

While a large body of evidence suggests that unemployment and self-reported happiness are negatively correlated, it is not clear whether this reflects a causal effect of unemployment on happiness and whether subsidized employment can increase the happiness of the unemployed. To close this gap, this paper estimates the causal effect of a type of subsidized employment projects - Germany's Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahmen - on self-reported happiness. Results from matching and fixed effects estimators suggest that subsidized employment has a large and statistically significant positive effect on the happiness of individuals who would otherwise have been unemployed. Detailed panel data on pre- and post-project happiness suggests that this effect can neither be explained by self-selection of happier individuals into employment nor by the higher incomes of the employed.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Crost, 2011. "The Effect of Subsidized Employment on Happiness," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 384, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp384
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.373756.de/diw_sp0384.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marco Caliendo & Reinhard Hujer & Stephan Thomsen, 2008. "Identifying effect heterogeneity to improve the efficiency of job creation schemes in Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(9), pages 1101-1122.
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    4. Edlin Aaron S. & Phelps Edmund, 2009. "Getting Serious about Job Creation: Part I," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 6(5), pages 1-5, April.
    5. Hujer, Reinhard & Caliendo, Marco & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2004. "New evidence on the effects of job creation schemes in Germany--a matching approach with threefold heterogeneity," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 257-302, December.
    6. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Hypertension and happiness across nations," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 218-233, March.
    7. Bernhard, Sarah & Hohmeyer, Katrin & Jozwiak, Eva & Koch, Susanne & Kruppe, Thomas & Stephan, Gesine & Wolff, Joachim, 2008. "Aktive Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Deutschland und ihre Wirkungen," IAB-Forschungsbericht 200802, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
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    12. Petri Böckerman & Pekka Ilmakunnas, 2009. "Unemployment and self-assessed health: evidence from panel data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 161-179.
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    1. A case for workfare
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2012-02-20 19:29:17

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Happiness; life satisfaction; unemployment; subsidized employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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