Social Contacts, Unemployment, and Experienced Well-Being. Evidence from Time-Use Data
Neues Diskussionspapier von Andreas Knabe und An Hoang
We use the UK Time-Use Survey 2014/15 to analyze how differences in the frequency and intensity of social contacts contribute to the gap in experienced well-being between employed and unemployed persons. We observe that people generally enjoy being with others more than being alone. The unemployed generally feel worse than the employed when engaging in the same kind of activities, partly because they are more often alone. The unemployed can replace lost work contacts only partially with private contacts. In terms of experienced well-being, however, the small increase in time spent with family and friends (which people enjoy a lot) offsets the loss of work contacts (which people generally enjoy only little). Hence, we do not find that the differences in the social-contact composition between the employed and the unemployed contribute to the difference in their experienced well-being.
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