3. August 2016

SOEP Brown Bag Seminar

Time use, Experienced Well-Being and Labor Market Status


3. August 2016
12:30 - 13:30


DIW Berlin im Quartier 110
Room 5.2.010
Mohrenstraße 58
10117 Berlin


Maria Metzing

We investigate the role of labor market status for day-by-day experienced well-being for employed and unemployed workers. The German representative SOEP-IS dataset (waves 2012-2015) allows us to assess individual time use and accompanying experienced well-being. Using information from the integrated day reconstruction method (DRM) module, our analysis overcome shortcomings of previous studies that had to rely on selective samples and cross-section design. We calculate the share of total time in pleasurable activities (p-index) and use it as an outcome variable. Thus, working and work related activities like commuting as well as housework rank least due to their lower level of affective experience. We further show that the average experienced well-being level of unemployed is significantly higher than the level of the employed. This difference vanishes when calculating the p-index for the employed without working or work-related activities. We interpret this as a hint that working itself reduces the experienced well-being of the workers. Regression analysis with a standard set of controls and day of the week fixed effects confirm this finding. Taking time-invariant individual traits into account does not alter this result. These findings are in strong contrast to the established literature regarding the effects of labor market status on evaluative well-being. Experienced well-being captures further relevant aspects of SWB and its role for labor market status.