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The Emotional Timeline of Unemployment: Anticipation, Reaction, and Adaptation

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  • Christian von Scheve
  • Frederike Esche
  • Jürgen Schupp

Abstract

Unemployment continues to be one of the major challenges in industrialized societies. Aside from its economic dimensions and societal repercussions, questions concerning the individual experience of unemployment have recently attracted increasing attention. Although many studies have documented the detrimental effects of unemployment for subjective well-being, they overwhelmingly focus on life satisfaction as the cognitive dimension of well-being. Little is known about the emotional antecedents and consequences of unemployment. We thus investigate the impact of unemployment on emotional well-being by analyzing the frequency with which specific emotions are experienced in anticipation of and reaction to job loss. Using longitudinal data of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and fixed effects regressions, we find that becoming unemployed leads to more frequent experiences of unpleasant emotions only in the short run and that adaptation occurs more rapidly as compared to life satisfaction. Contrary to existing studies, we find decreases on emotional well-being but not in life satisfaction in anticipation of unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian von Scheve & Frederike Esche & Jürgen Schupp, 2013. "The Emotional Timeline of Unemployment: Anticipation, Reaction, and Adaptation," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 593, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp593
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Adaptation and the Easterlin Paradox," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-01112725, HAL.
    2. Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "SWB as a Measure of Individual Well-Being," PSE Working Papers halshs-01134483, HAL.
    3. Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Adaptation and the Easterlin Paradox," Working Papers halshs-01112725, HAL.
    4. Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "SWB as a Measure of Individual Well-Being," Working Papers halshs-01134483, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment; emotions; well-being; life satisfaction; SOEP;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income

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