Previous studies find that past unemployment reduces life satisfaction even after reemployment for non-monetary reasons (unemployment scarring). It is not clear, however, whether this scarring is only caused by employment-related factors, such as worsened working conditions, or increased future uncertainty as regards income and employment. Using German panel data, we identify non-employment-related scarring by examining the transition of unemployed people to retirement as a life event after which employment-related scarring does not matter anymore. We find evidence for non-employment-related non-monetary unemployment scarring for people who were unemployed for the first time in their life directly prior to retirement, but not for people with earlier unemployment experiences.
unemployment scarring life satisfaction retirement