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Journal Article

The restorative effect of work after unemployment: an intraindividual analysis of subjective well-being recovery through reemployment


Publication date

18 Feb 2019


Previous research shows that unemployment has lasting detrimental effects on individuals’ subjective well-being. However, the issue of how well-being evolves after individuals switch back into the labor force has received little theoretical and empirical attention. This study examines the extent to which reemployment restores individuals’ subjective well-being following a period of unemployment. Applying fixed effects models to the large-scale longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey, we find that recovery of subjective well-being upon reemployment is fast, complete and enduring, even when individuals take less favorable employment options to return to work. By contrast, transitions into economic inactivity following unemployment are accompanied by persistent scars on subsequent well-being trajectories. This study advances our understanding of well-being development over the entire employment–unemployment–reemployment cycle. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)

Published in

Journal of Applied Psychology





Psychology, Labour Market, Unemployment, Well Being, and Life Course Analysis


University of Essex, Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to University of Essex registered users* -; Surrey Research Insight - Accepted version Manuscript -


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