Retirement and its effect on subjective well-being

Retirement and its effect on subjective well-being

Prof. Dr. Andreas Knabe

Happiness research shows that unemployment reduces life satisfaction significantly. At the same time unemployment only has little influence on the average emotional well-being during specific events (Knabe et al. 2010, Economic Journal). These two results suggest that life satisfaction rather depends more on reaching individual goals and the fulfillment of social norms than on specific events.

For testing this hypothesis, this research project examines how retirement affects the life satisfaction of employees and unemployed. Entering retirement is a unique life event when for unemployed people there is no difference in their possibilities to live their everyday life but there are significant changes in the social norms they face when evaluating their life satisfaction. Unemployed people are socially expected to work if it is possible whereas for pensioners there does not exist such a social expectation. Noticing an increase in life satisfaction of unemployed people at the beginning of retirement in comparison to employees beginning of retirement would confirm the importance of social norms for life satisfaction. 

Last Modification: 01.03.2019 - Contact Person:

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