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Labor market policy and subjective well-being during the Great Recession

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  • Morgan, Robson
  • O'Connor, Kelsey J.

Abstract

Average subjective well-being decreased in Europe during the Great Recession, primarily among people with less than a college education and people younger than retirement age. However, some countries fared better than others depending on their labor market policies. More generous unemployment support, which provided income replacement or programs to assist unemployed workers find jobs, mitigated the negative effects for most of the population, although not youth. In contrast, stricter employment protection legislation exacerbated the negative effects. We present further evidence that suggests the exacerbating effects of employment protection legislation are due to greater rigidities in the labor market, which in turn affect perceived future job prospects. Our analysis is based on two-stage least squares regressions using individual subjective wellbeing data obtained from Eurobarometer surveys and variation in labor market policy across 23 European countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Morgan, Robson & O'Connor, Kelsey J., 2019. "Labor market policy and subjective well-being during the Great Recession," GLO Discussion Paper Series 372, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:372
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    5. David N. F. Bell & David G. Blanchflower, 2011. "Young people and the Great Recession," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 241-267.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    life satisfaction; active labor market policy; unemployment support; employment protection legislation; Eurobarometer;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs

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