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Austerity plan announcements and the impact on the employees’ wellbeing

Alina Botezat

Journal of Economic Psychology, 2017, vol. 63, issue C, 1-16

Abstract: This study investigates the impact of austerity plan announcements on employees’ wellbeing. We exploit the unexpected announcement of a drastic wage cut (25%) related to public sector employees in Romania. Using data from the Eurobarometer Surveys and the European Quality of Life Survey, we employ a difference-in-difference research design combined with matching, based on entropy balancing, to identify the causal effects. Our results reveal that the mere announcement of austerity measures leads to an overall drop in life satisfaction among those working in the public sector. We also show that men, and especially married individuals, are most affected by the substantial wage cut announcement. Contrary to previous research, we find that public sector employees with higher levels of education are more likely to be affected by this policy communication compared to those with only secondary or primary levels of education. Our results also suggest that the negative effect of the announcement is not persisting over time.

Keywords: Austerity measures; National announcement; Public sector; Social perception; Romania; Wellbeing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I31 I38 J28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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