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Thinking About It: A Note on Attention and Well-Being Losses From Unemployment

P Dolan and Nattavudh Powdthavee

Discussion Papers from Department of Economics, University of York

Abstract: This note investigates Schkade and Kahneman's (1998) maxim that "Nothing in life is quite as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it". The paper shows that whilst becoming unemployed hurts psychologically, unemployment has a greater impact on happiness if the person also regards it as an important event that took place in the last year. This finding, particularly if it is replicated for other domains, such as health and income, will have important implications for how we think about the impact of objective circumstances on well-being and about well-being more generally.

Keywords: Happiness; Well-being; Attention; Focusing illusion; Unemployment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H0 I0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap, nep-hpe, nep-lab and nep-ltv
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Journal Article: Thinking about it: a note on attention and well-being losses from unemployment (2012) Downloads
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