Skip to content

Research Paper Levy Economics Institute of Bard College Working Papers 808

Heterogeneity in the relationship between unemployment and subjective well-being: a quantile approach


Publication date

Jun 2014


Unemployment has been robustly shown to strongly decrease subjective
well-being (or “happiness”). In the present paper, we use panel quantile
regression techniques in order to analyze to what extent the negative
impact of unemployment varies along the subjective well-­being
distribution. In our analysis of British Household Panel Survey data
(1996–2008) we find that, over the quantiles of our subjective
well-being variable, individuals with high well-­being suffer less from
becoming unemployed. A similar but stronger effect of unemployment is
found for a broad mental well-being variable (GHQ-12). For happy and
mentally stable individuals, it seems their higher well-being acts like a
safety net when they become unemployed. We explore these findings by
examining the heterogeneous unemployment effects over the quantiles of
satisfaction with various life domains.




Unemployment and Well Being


Related publications

  1. Heterogeneity in the relationship between unemployment and subjective wellbeing: a quantile approach

    Martin Binder and Alex Coad

    1. Unemployment
    2. Well Being


Research home

Research home


Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest