Unemployment and Identity

32 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2012

See all articles by Ronnie Schöb

Ronnie Schöb

Freie Universitaet Berlin; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: November 21, 2012


This paper employs social identity and self-categorization theories as a useful heuristic framework through which to learn more about the nature of the misery experienced by the unemployed; in economic terms, the individual cost of unemployment. Utilizing this framework, the paper provides different empirical identification strategies in order to disentangle the various means through which unemployment alters both the well-being and utility of an individual and shows, by reviewing some of the recent research in which I have participated, that unemployment primarily threatens an individual’s identity rather than reducing the instantaneous utility derived from day-to-day experiences.

Keywords: involuntary unemployment, identity, affective well-being, cognitive well-being

JEL Classification: J600

Suggested Citation

Schöb, Ronnie, Unemployment and Identity (November 21, 2012). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3991. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2178928

Ronnie Schöb (Contact Author)

Freie Universitaet Berlin ( email )

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Berlin, Berlin 14195

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679

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