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Title:Employed but still unhappy? On the relevance of the social work norm PDF Logo
Authors:Chadi, Adrian
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:CAWM discussion paper / Centrum für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung Münster 42
Abstract:In the modern welfare state, people who cannot make a living usually receive financial assistance from public funds. Accordingly, the so-called social work norm against living off other people is violated, which may be the reason why the unemployed are so unhappy. If so, however, labour market concepts based on the notion of promoting low-paid jobs that are subsidised if necessary with additional payments would appear far less favourable. It could be that people are employed, but still unhappy. Using German panel data, this paper examines the relevance of the social work norm and finds a significant disutility effect of living off public funds. Although this is true for employed people as well, the results show that the individual is generally better off having a job that requires additional assistance, than having no job at all. On the other hand, such policies as the recent German labour market reforms can trigger undesired side-effects, if policy-makers ignore the issue of the social work norm.
Subjects:Unemployment
Social benefits
Low-wages
Labour market policies
Social norms
Well-being
JEL:I31
J38
J60
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:CAWM Discussion Papers, Universität Münster

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