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Men without work: Why are they so unhappy in the US compared to other places?

Author

Listed:
  • Sergio Pinto

    () (University of Maryland)

  • Carol Graham

    () (The Brookings Institution)

Abstract

The global economy is full of paradoxes. Despite progress in technology, reducing poverty, and increasing life expectancy, the poorest states lag behind, and there is increasing inequality and anomie in the wealthiest ones. A key driver of such unhappiness in advanced countries is the decline in the status and wages of low-skilled labor. A related feature is the increase in prime-aged males (and to a lesser extent women) simply dropping out of the labor force, particularly in the U.S. This same group is over-represented in the “deaths of despair.” There is frustration among this same cohort in Europe and it is reflected in voting trends in both contexts. Prime-aged males out of the labor force in the U.S. are the least hopeful and most stressed and angry compared to the same group in other regions, including the Middle East. Our aim is to better understand this cohort as part of a broader need to rethink our growth models and to explore policies that encourage the participation of able workers in the new global economy and can provide incentives for community involvement and other forms of engagement for those who can no longer work.

Suggested Citation

  • Sergio Pinto & Carol Graham, 2019. "Men without work: Why are they so unhappy in the US compared to other places?," Working Papers 2019-016, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2019-016
    Note: MIP
    as

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    File URL: http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Pinto_Graham_2019_men-without-work-unhappy.pdf
    File Function: First version, March, 2019
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Amin, Magdi & Assaad, Ragui & al-Baharna, Nazar & Dervis, Kemal & Desai, Raj M. & Dhillon, Navtej S. & Galal, Ahmed & Ghanem, Hafez & Graham, Carol & Kaufmann, Daniel, 2012. "After the Spring: Economic Transitions in the Arab World," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199924929.
    2. repec:bla:revinw:v:64:y:2018:i:s1:p:s80-s113 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Efstratia Arampatzi & Martijn Burger & Elena Ianchovichina & Tina Röhricht & Ruut Veenhoven, 2018. "Unhappy Development: Dissatisfaction With Life on the Eve of the Arab Spring," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 64(s1), pages 80-113, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Men without work: Why are they so unhappy in the US compared to other places?
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2019-04-10 14:00:51

    More about this item

    Keywords

    well-being; happiness; Inequality; gender; unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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