Unemployment has a heterogeneous effect on well-being. We combine a quantile analysis with matching techniques to analyse the negative impact of unemployment along the well-being distribution of a comprehensive well-being variable. In our analysis of British Household Panel Survey data (1996–2008) we focus on transitions into unemployment and find that average effects of unemployment on a comprehensive well-being variable are less strong than on typical life satisfaction measures. The effect of unemployment on a broad mental well-being variable (GHQ-12) is reversed and mentally less well-off individuals suffer from unemployment more strongly than those scoring high in mental well-being.
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