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Looking Back in Anger?: Retirement and Unemployment Scarring

  • Clemens Hetschko
  • Andreas Knabe
  • Ronnie Schöb

Previous studies find that past unemployment reduces life satisfaction even after reemployment for non-monetary reasons (unemployment scarring). It is not clear, however, whether this scarring is only caused by employment-related factors, such as worsened working conditions, or increased future uncertainty as regards income and employment. Using German panel data, we identify non-employment-related scarring by examining the transition of unemployed people to retirement as a life event after which employment-related scarring does not matter anymore. We find evidence for non-employment-related non-monetary unemployment scarring for people who were unemployed for the first time in their life directly prior to retirement, but not for people with earlier unemployment experiences.

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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 652.

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Length: 23 p.
Date of creation: 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp652
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  1. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel, 2011. "Scarring or Scaring? The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment and Future Unemployment Risk," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 78(310), pages 283-293, 04.
  2. Clemens Hetschko & Andreas Knabe & Ronnie Schöb, 2011. "Changing Identity: Retiring from Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 3540, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Andrew Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2003. "Lags and Leads in Life Satisfaction: A Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," DELTA Working Papers 2003-14, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  4. Daly, M. & Delaney, L., 2013. "The scarring effect of unemployment throughout adulthood on psychological distress at age 50: Estimates controlling for early adulthood distress and childhood psychological factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 19-23.
  5. Bonsang, Eric & Klein, Tobias J., 2011. "Retirement and Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 5536, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Alois Stutzer & Rafael Lalive, . "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," IEW - Working Papers 051, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  10. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
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