Social Indicators Research

, Volume 79, Issue 1, pp 159–169 | Cite as

Elusive Effects of Unemployment on Happiness

  • Petri BöckermanEmail author
  • Pekka Ilmakunnas


This paper explores the connection between unemployment and subjective well-being in Finland using cross-sections for the years 1990, 1996 and 2000 from World Values Surveys. Interestingly, an unprecedented increase in the national unemployment rate (from 3 to 17%) did not produce a drop in the mean level of subjective well-being. Personally experiencing unemployment reduces life satisfaction, but does not have a significant effect on happiness in ordered logit estimation. However, generalized ordered logit estimation reveals that being unemployed has a negative effect on happiness at lower happiness scores, but no significant effect at high happiness levels.

Key words

happiness unhappiness life satisfaction unemployment 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Labour Institute for Economic ResearchHelsinkiFinland

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