Unhappiness and Job Finding

34 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2012

See all articles by Anne C. Gielen

Anne C. Gielen

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Maastricht University

Jan C. van Ours

Tilburg University - Department of Economics; University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

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It is puzzling that people feel quite unhappy when they become unemployed, while at the same time active labor market policies are needed to bring unemployed back to work more quickly. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we investigate whether there is indeed such a puzzle. First, we find that nearly half of the unemployed do not experience a drop in happiness, which might explain why at least some workers need to be activated. In addition to that, we find that even though unemployed who experience a drop in happiness search more actively for a job, it does not speed up their job finding. Apparently, there is no link between unhappiness and the speed of job finding. Hence, there is no contradiction between unemployed being unhappy and the need for activation policies.

Keywords: happiness, unemployment duration

JEL Classification: I31, J64

Suggested Citation

Gielen, Anne C. and van Ours, Jan C., Unhappiness and Job Finding. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6320. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2003633

Anne C. Gielen (Contact Author)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
+31 43 3883887 (Phone)
+31 43 3881450 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.annegielen.nl

Jan C. Van Ours

Tilburg University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
+31 13 466 2880 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3042 (Fax)

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010

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