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Unhappiness and Job Finding

  • Gielen, Anne C.

    ()

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • van Ours, Jan C.

    ()

    (Tilburg University)

It is puzzling that people feel quite unhappy when they become unemployed, while at the same time active labor market policies are needed to bring unemployed back to work more quickly. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we investigate whether there is indeed such a puzzle. First, we find that nearly half of the unemployed do not experience a drop in happiness, which might explain why at least some workers need to be activated. In addition to that, we find that even though unemployed who experience a drop in happiness search more actively for a job, it does not speed up their job finding. Apparently, there is no link between unhappiness and the speed of job finding. Hence, there is no contradiction between unemployed being unhappy and the need for activation policies.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6320.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economica, 2014, 81, 544–565
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6320
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  1. Andrew E. Clark & Yannis Georgellis, 2002. "Unemployment Alters the Set-Point for Life Satisfaction," Public Policy Discussion Papers 02-16, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  2. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2011. "Job Search, Emotional Well-Being and Job Finding in a Period of Mass Unemployment: Evidence from High-Frequency Longitudinal Data," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 1-81.
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  4. Green, Francis, 2010. "Well-being, job satisfaction and labour mobility," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 897-903, December.
  5. Clark, Andrew E., 2006. "A Note on Unhappiness and Unemployment Duration," IZA Discussion Papers 2406, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2007. "Lags and leads in life satisfaction: a test of the baseline hypothesis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19656, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Andrew Clark, 2001. "Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," DELTA Working Papers 2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  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. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  10. Berg, Gerard J. van den & Klaauw, Bas van der & Ours, Jan C. van, 1998. "Punitive sanctions and the transition rate from welfare to work," Serie Research Memoranda 0033, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  11. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel & Ronnie Schöb & Joachim Weimann, 2009. "Dissatisfied with Life, but Having a Good Day: Time-Use and Well-Being of the Unemployed," CESifo Working Paper Series 2604, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Arni, P. & Lalive, R. & van Ours, J.C., 2009. "How Effective are Unemployment Benefit Sanctions? Looking Beyond Unemployment Exit," Discussion Paper 2009-80, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  13. Anna Christina D'Addio & Michael Rosholm, . "Left-Censoring in Duration Data: Theory and Applications," Economics Working Papers 2002-5, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  14. Josse Delfgaauw, 2005. "The Effect of Job Satisfaction on Job Search: Not just whether, but also where," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-097/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  15. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  16. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  17. Mavridis, Dimitris, 2010. "Can subjective well-being predict unemployment length ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5293, The World Bank.
  18. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. Berg & Jan C. Ours, 2005. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance Sanctions on the Transition Rate from Unemployment to Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 602-630, 07.
  19. Levy-Garboua, Louis & Montmarquette, Claude & Simonnet, Veronique, 2007. "Job satisfaction and quits," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 251-268, April.
  20. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1997. "Job Satisfaction, Wage Changes and Quits: Evidence from Germany," Studies in Economics 9711, School of Economics, University of Kent.
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  23. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00586022 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. 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.
  25. Clark, Andrew E., 2001. "What really matters in a job? Hedonic measurement using quit data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 223-242, May.
  26. Rafael Lalive & JanC. vanOurs & Josef Zweimüller, 2008. "The Impact of Active Labour Market Programmes on The Duration of Unemployment in Switzerland," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 235-257, 01.
  27. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
  28. Arni, Patrick & Lalive, Rafael & van Ours, Jan C, 2009. "How Effective Are Unemployment Benefit Sanctions?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7541, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Björklund, Anders, 1984. "Unemployment and Mental Health: Some Evidence from Panel Data," Working Paper Series 120, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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