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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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective Well-being; Unemployment; Quantile Analysis; Heterogeneity; British Household Panel Survey; Domain Satisfaction;
    All these keywords.

    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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