Elusive Effects of Unemployment on Happiness
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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 wordshappiness unhappiness life satisfaction unemployment
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