Social Indicators Research

, Volume 129, Issue 3, pp 1255–1275 | Cite as

Partnership, Gender, and the Well-Being Cost of Unemployment

  • Andreas Knabe
  • Ronnie SchöbEmail author
  • Joachim Weimann


We examine the relationship between unemployment, life satisfaction and affective well-being depending on family status and, within couples, on the employment status of one’s partner. Our data, that we collected using the Day Reconstruction Method, show that unemployment is negatively related to life satisfaction, but not to affective well-being. Living in a partnership strengthens the loss in life satisfaction of men, but weakens that of women. Unemployment of a person’s partner is associated with a smaller loss in life satisfaction for unemployed men, but with a larger loss for women. We argue that these findings reflect to a large extent changes in cognitive well-being, which is closely related to identity utility. The unemployed’s feeling of identity appears to be affected by traditional gender roles.


Unemployment Life satisfaction Cognitive well-being Affective well-being Day reconstruction method Identity Partnership Gender 

JEL Classification

I31 J60 J22 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Economics and ManagementOtto von Guericke University MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  2. 2.School of Business & EconomicsFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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