Worries Across Time and Age in Germany: Bringing Together Open- and Close-Ended Questions
30 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2017
Date Written: June 1, 2017
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
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