How Unemployment May Impact Happiness: A Systematic Review

How Unemployment May Impact Happiness: A Systematic Review

André Barros (Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Portugal), Teresa Dieguez (Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Portugal & Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Portugal) and Pedro Nunes (Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5787-6.ch013

Abstract

The wealth of an economy is traditionally measured by its level of productivity. However, countries with the highest level of productivity do not always report equal levels of happiness and general wellbeing. In fact, there is no direct relationship between both variables and sometimes less wealthy productive countries report higher levels of happiness. Recent studies and theories are trying to demonstrate that the term happiness has made its way into economics literature as the result of economist dissatisfaction who believe happiness should become a matter of study in the field. Unemployment is one of the most recently researched variables in economics and has a direct relationship with happiness. Potentially some other variables such as autonomy, reliability, and added value of happiness would help researchers to better complete economic analysis via a multidisciplinary perspective.
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Literature Review

This research is structured around three sections. The first section will explain the pertinence of the happiness topic, pointing out the reasons why it was chosen. It will feature a brief reflection about the importance of happiness and meaning of happiness in accordance with several points of view, namely from many different authors and economists. It also analyses the term happiness and the relation between money and happiness. The second section will deal with unemployment, namely with its relevance and evolution in terms of both unemployment rates and unemployment protection policies in Portugal. The third and last section will connect happiness with unemployment, concluding with some empirical studies performed with the goal to assess the impact of unemployment on the levels of happiness.

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