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The literature suggests that the extent of the negative effect of own unemployment may be complicated or moderated by contextual influences at the local or regional level.
This is consistent with the social-norm hypothesis.
However, others’ unemployment has an ambiguous effect in the United Kingdom and an exacerbating effect in Germany.
The main argument is that employment provides many non-material benefits—such as social relationships and identity in society—and unemployment involves the loss of these benefits and thus can lead to poorer subjective well-being.
The extent of the negative effect of own unemployment may be further complicated or moderated by contextual unemployment—either through a negative spillover or a positive social-norm effect, or both—across regions within the country.
The results suggest that noticeable non-pecuniary costs are associated with unemployment in all four countries.
Commonwealth Bank Business Plan - Unemployment Research Paper
, the unemployed tend to have lower life satisfaction than the employed by about 0.3 standard deviations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, and by a larger margin of 0.47 standard deviations in Germany.
In particular, these perceptions explain why unemployed Germans had significantly lower predicted life satisfaction scores than their otherwise-equal peers in the three other countries.
Moreover, the unique Canadian results on moderating factors may be driven by seasonal employment features, as well as by strong rural-to-urban migration in Canada’s high unemployment regions.
Sensitivity testing further revealed that this Canadian anomaly was a phenomenon mainly in Atlantic Canada, not across the whole country.
Keywords: unemployment, subjective well-being, employment insecurity Canadians are generally happier than people in the rest of the world, according to various surveys and polls.