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Worries Across Time and Age in the German Socio-Economic Panel Study

Aufsätze referiert extern - Web of Science

Julia M. Rohrer, Martin Bruemmer, Jürgen Schupp, Gert G. Wagner

In: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 181 (2021), S. 332-343


We investigate how indicators of dissatisfaction—worries about a variety of life domains such as health, the state of the economy, and immigration—change across time and age in Germany based on Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) data. As expected, contemporary world events influenced respondents’ worries. For example, worries about peace peaked in 2003, the year of the Iraq War; worries about both immigration to Germany and hostility against foreigners have risen in the wake of the refugee crisis. We find that, independent of these historical effects, most types of worries increased with age, although this trend slows down in old age. With increasing age, respondents also became more likely to answer an open-ended question asking for “any other worries,” which suggests that the age trends in worries cannot merely be attributed to a potential measurement problem due to the specific choice of worry items included in the survey.

Gert G. Wagner

Senior Research Fellow in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Jürgen Schupp

Senior Research Fellow in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Topics: Well-being

JEL-Classification: C81;C83;I31;Z13
Keywords: Life course; Worries; Satisfaction; German Socio-Economic Panel Study; SOEP