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Gender, loneliness and happiness during COVID-19

Author

Listed:
  • Anthony Lepinteur

    (University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg])

  • Andrew Clark

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Ada Ferrer-I-Carbonell

    (IAE-CSIC)

  • Alan Piper

    (University of Leeds)

  • Carsten Schröder

    (DIW Berlin - Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung)

  • Conchita d'Ambrosio

    (University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg])

Abstract

We analyse a measure of loneliness from a representative sample of German individuals interviewed in both 2017 and at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Both men and women felt lonelier during the COVID-19 pandemic than they did in 2017. The pandemic more than doubled the gender loneliness gap: women were lonelier than men in 2017, and the 2017-2020 rise in loneliness was far larger for women. This rise is mirrored in life-satisfaction scores. Men's life satisfaction changed only little between 2017 and 2020; yet that of women fell dramatically, and sufficiently so to produce a female penalty in life satisfaction. We estimate that almost all of this female penalty is explained by the disproportionate rise in loneliness for women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony Lepinteur & Andrew Clark & Ada Ferrer-I-Carbonell & Alan Piper & Carsten Schröder & Conchita d'Ambrosio, 2022. "Gender, loneliness and happiness during COVID-19," Post-Print halshs-03956344, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-03956344
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2022.101952
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrew E. Clark & Anthony Lepinteur, 2022. "Pandemic Policy and Life Satisfaction in Europe," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 68(2), pages 393-408, June.
    2. Frijters, Paul & Clark, Andrew E. & Krekel, Christian & Layard, Richard, 2020. "A happy choice: wellbeing as the goal of government," Behavioural Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 126-165, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gabriela Mihaela Muresan & Codruta Mare & Dan Tudor Lazar & Sorin Paul Lazar, 2023. "Can Health Insurance Improve the Happiness of the Romanian People?," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 25(64), pages 903-903, August.
    2. Barjaková, Martina & Garnero, Andrea & d’Hombres, Béatrice, 2023. "Risk factors for loneliness: A literature review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 334(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Loneliness; Life satisfaction; Gender; COVID-19; SOEP;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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