Worries Across Time and Age in Germany: Bringing Together Open- and Close-Ended Questions

30 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2017

See all articles by Julia Rohrer

Julia Rohrer

University of Leipzig

Martin Bruemmer

University of Leipzig

Jürgen Schupp

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Institute for Sociology, Freie Universität; The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Gert G. Wagner

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Berlin University of Technology; German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP)

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Date Written: June 1, 2017

Abstract

We investigate how worries in Germany change across time and age, drawing on both closed-ended questions (which typically list a number of worry items) and open-ended questions answered in text format. We find that relevant world events influence worries. For example, worries about peace peaked in 2003, the year of the Iraq War, with a considerable number of respondents also referring to the Iraq war in their text responses. Furthermore, we found that – controlling for these historical effects – worries about various topics such as health and the general economic situation increase with age. With increasing age, respondents also became more likely to answer the open-ended question. This suggests that the age increases in worries we found are not merely a result of an age-biased choice of worry items, but instead also hold for worries self-generated by the respondents.

Keywords: Life course, worries, satisfaction, German Socio-Economic Panel Study, SOEP

JEL Classification: C81, C83, I31, Z13

Suggested Citation

Rohrer, Julia and Bruemmer, Martin and Schupp, Juergen and Wagner, Gert G., Worries Across Time and Age in Germany: Bringing Together Open- and Close-Ended Questions (June 1, 2017). SOEPpaper No. 918. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3051631 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3051631

Julia Rohrer (Contact Author)

University of Leipzig ( email )

Marschnerstrasse 31
D-04109 Leipzig, 04109
Germany

Martin Bruemmer

University of Leipzig

Marschnerstrasse 31
D-04109 Leipzig, 04109
Germany

Juergen Schupp

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

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Berlin, D-10117
Germany
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Institute for Sociology, Freie Universität ( email )

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Berlin, D-14195
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The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/index_html?lang=de&mainframe=http%3A//www.iza.org/de/webcontent/personnel/fellows

Gert G. Wagner

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

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Berlin, 10117
Germany
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HOME PAGE: http://www.diw.de/programme/jsp/MA.jsp?language=en&uid=gwagner

Berlin University of Technology ( email )

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Germany
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German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) ( email )

DIW Berlin
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Germany
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HOME PAGE: http://www.diw/en/soep

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