The economic and non-economic consequences of job loss, unemployment, and inadequate re-employment in Germany and Europe

Faculty/Professorship: Methods of Empirical Social Research  ; Fakultät Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften: Abschlussarbeiten 
Author(s): Voßemer, Jonas
Publisher Information: Bamberg : opus
Year of publication: 2019
Pages: XII, 328 ; Illustrationen, Diagramme
Supervisor(s): Gebel, Michael  ; Strandh, Mattias; Engelhardt-Wölfler, Henriette
Language(s): English
Kumulative Dissertation, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, 2019
DOI: 10.20378/irbo-54547
Licence: German Act on Copyright 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-opus4-545471
Job loss and unemployment are major social problems in modern market economies. Understanding their consequences is of key concern to the social sciences. Against this background, this cumulative thesis examines the economic and non-economic consequences of job loss, unemployment, and inadequate re-employment in Germany and Europe. In addition to five articles, it contains an overview article which motivates the research questions, reviews the state of research and highlights the contributions of this thesis, develops a general theoretical model, presents the research designs, and summarizes the main findings before drawing conclusions.

The first article examines the impact of job losses on the careers of workers in Germany. I distinguish between displacements due to plant closures and job losses due to dismissals and analyze their short- and long-term effects on workers’ subsequent labor market statuses, labor incomes, and risks for non-standard employment. The results show that both events have lasting negative effects on employment, total labor incomes, earnings, and hourly wages and increase the risks of self-, part-time, and temporary employment.

The second article analyzes the effects of unemployment on non-monetary job quality in Europe. Taking a quantitative comparative perspective, I investigate to what extent the effects of unemployment on subsequent occupational status, autonomy, authority, and job security are moderated by countries’ economic situation and institutions, including active and passive labor market policies in addition to employment protection legislation. The findings reveal negative effects on all four facets of non-monetary job quality in most of the countries studied. However, I find no consistent empirical evidence for the moderating role of the economic situation and labor market policies.

In the third article, my co-author and I focus on the decisions of unemployed people when to accept or reject a job offer. Comparing an overeducated labor market re-entry with the situation of remaining unemployed and continuing the job search for adequate re-employment, we find that it increases unemployed individuals’ long-term employment chances. However, it also implies strong lock-in effects into overeducation for several years after re-employment.

In the fourth article, my co-authors and I focus on the non-economic consequences, investigating the long-term health effects of an early-career job loss. We find that job losses due to plant closures or layoffs have a lasting negative impact on health more than 30 years later. We also show that subsequent unemployment risks and employment instability only explain a small share of the total negative effects.

The fifth article highlights the interrelation between the career and family domains, examining the consequences of job loss for couples’ division of housework and total housework hours. My co-author and I show that increases in unemployed spouses’ total housework hours are not offset by decreases in partners’ time implying an expansion next to a reallocation. We also show larger increases in housework by unemployed men than women, although husbands spent more of their extra time on male-typed activities, whereas wives increase their hours more through routine chores. This article further reveals that couples react immediately to unemployment, challenging arguments that they need time to adapt or that men withdraw from housework the longer they remain non-employed.

In summary, the results presented in the five articles highlight the far-reaching consequences of job loss, unemployment, and inadequate re-employment for the careers and lives of workers, including their families.
GND Keywords: Arbeitslosigkeit
Keywords: unemployment, mismatch, income, health and well-being, division of labor
DDC Classification: 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology  
RVK Classification: MS 5350   
Type: Doctoralthesis
Year of publication: 5. April 2019

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