Category Archives: Wellbeing/Satisfaction

Unhappiness in Unemployment: Is it the Same for Everyone?

Many studies have shown that there is a general tendency for men’s subjective wellbeing to be more badly affected by unemployment when compared to women, although the extent varies across countries. The existing literature notes the gender differences and offers possible explanations, but does not formally compare competing hypotheses. We analyse whether gender differences in life satisfaction associated with the experience of unemployment can be attributed to degrees of specialisation in the labour market, differences in the types of work undertaken by men and women, differences in personality traits, work identity or gender norms. We find that it is not all, but some, women who suffer less than men when experiencing a transition into unemployment. The experience of unemployment for women is differentiated by pay, work identity and, most powerfully, gender attitudes.

Longhi S., Nandi A., Bryan M., Connolly S. Gedikli C. (2018) Unhappiness in Unemployment: Is it the Same for Everyone?  Sheffield Economic Research Paper Series no. 2018007.
Also appeared as a Research Report on Gender and Unemployment for the What Works Wellbeing Centre.

Cultural Diversity and Subjective Wellbeing

This paper analyses the impact that diversity has on life satisfaction of people living in England. In England, and in many other countries, local communities are becoming more diverse in terms of country of birth, ethnicity and religion of residents, with unclear consequences on the well-being of people living in these communities. The results suggest that white British people living in diverse areas have on average lower levels of life satisfaction than those living in areas where diversity is low, while there is no correlation on average between diversity and life satisfaction for non-white British people and foreign born.

Longhi S. (2014) Cultural Diversity and Subjective Wellbeing, IZA Journal of Migration, 2014, 3:13.

Occupational Change in Britain and Germany

We use British and German panel data to analyse job changes involving a change in occupation. We assess: (1) the extent of occupational change, taking into account the possibility of measurement error in occupational codes; (2) whether job changes within the occupation differ from occupation changes in terms of the characteristics of those making such switches; and (3) the effects of the two kinds of moves in respect of wages and job satisfaction. We find that occupation changes differ from other job changes, generally reflecting a less satisfactory employment situation, but also that the move in both cases is positive in respect of change in wages and job satisfaction.

Longhi S., Brynin M. (2010) Occupational Change in Britain and Germany, Labour Economics, 17 (4): 655-666.