Replication: Emotional well-being and unemployment – Evidence from the American time-use survey
Thi Truong An Hoang, Andreas Knabe – 2021
We use data from the well-being module of the American Time-Use Survey (ATUS) 2010–2013 to reexamine the relationship between unemployment and emotional well-being. We replicate two previous studies (Krueger + Mueller, 2012; Dolan, Kudrna, + Stone, 2017) which have produced differing findings on this relationship, and analyze what factors cause the differences in their outcomes. We find that the results critically depend on the definition of employment statuses and the choice of well-being measure. The unemployed appear sadder and more in pain than the employed, but no other emotion queried in the ATUS has worse values for the unemployed than for the employed. Aggregate emotional well-being measures suggest that unemployment is not negatively related to emotional well-being. Applying a wider instead of narrow definition of unemployment tends to result in better emotional well-being scores for the unemployed, mainly because job leavers and new or re-entrants into the labor market report better emotions than the group of people who are unemployed due to an involuntary job loss.