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Heterogeneity in the Relationship between Unemployment and Subjective Well-Being: A Quantile Approach

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  • Martin Binder
  • Alex Coad

Abstract

Unemployment has been robustly shown to strongly decrease subjective well-being (or "happiness"). In the present paper, we use panel quantile regression techniques in order to analyze to what extent the negative impact of unemployment varies along the subjective well-being distribution. In our analysis of British Household Panel Survey data (1996-2008) we find that, over the quantiles of our subjective well-being variable, individuals with high well-being suffer less from becoming unemployed. A similar but stronger effect of unemployment is found for a broad mental well-being variable (GHQ-12). For happy and mentally stable individuals, it seems their higher well-being acts like a safety net when they become unemployed. We explore these findings by examining the heterogeneous unemployment effects over the quantiles of satisfaction with various life domains.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Binder & Alex Coad, 2014. "Heterogeneity in the Relationship between Unemployment and Subjective Well-Being: A Quantile Approach," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_808, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_808
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bartelsman, Eric & Dobbelaere, Sabien & Peters, Bettina, 2013. "Allocation of Human Capital and Innovation at the Frontier: Firm-Level Evidence on Germany and the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 7540, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Lamu, Admassu N. & Olsen, Jan Abel, 2016. "The relative importance of health, income and social relations for subjective well-being: An integrative analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 176-185.
    3. Fang, Zheng & Niimi, Yoko, 2015. "Do Losses Bite More than Gains? Evidence from a Panel Quantile Regression Analysis of Subjective Well-being in Japan," MPRA Paper 68059, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. repec:taf:apeclt:v:23:y:2016:i:8:p:544-553 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Martin Binder, 2016. "Revisiting Cheerful Jane and Miserable John: the impact of income, good health, social contacts and education declines with increasing subjective well-being," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(8), pages 544-553, May.
    6. repec:spr:soinre:v:132:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-015-1126-z is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:joepsy:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:73-88 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Stéphane Mahuteau & Rong Zhu, 2016. "Crime Victimisation and Subjective Well‐Being: Panel Evidence From Australia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(11), pages 1448-1463, November.
    9. Martin Binder & Alex Coad, 2016. "How Satisfied are the Self-Employed? A Life Domain View," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 1409-1433, August.
    10. Kostas Mavromaras & Stephane Mahuteau & Kostas Mavromaras & Sue Richardson & Rong Zhu, 2017. "Public–Private Sector Wage Differentials in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 93, pages 105-121, June.
    11. Martin Binder, 2015. "Do it with joy: Subjective well-being outcomes of working in non-profit organizations," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2015-03, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    12. Reichert, Arndt R. & Tauchmann, Harald, 2017. "Workforce reduction, subjective job insecurity, and mental health," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 187-212.
    13. repec:eee:jjieco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:79-90 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Graham, Carol & Nikolova, Milena, 2015. "Bentham or Aristotle in the Development Process? An Empirical Investigation of Capabilities and Subjective Well-Being," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 163-179.
    15. Binder, Martin, 2016. "“…Do it with joy!” – Subjective well-being outcomes of working in non-profit organizations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 64-84.
    16. Schiele, Valentin & Schmitz, Hendrik, 2016. "Quantile treatment effects of job loss on health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 59-69.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective Well-being; Unemployment; Quantile Analysis; Heterogeneity; British Household Panel Survey; Domain Satisfaction;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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