A number of questions were asked, but it was found out that the winning “social norm vote” in the end was that unemployed people should be encouraged to find work. Having determined the social norm, the next data considered was the duration of unemployment. From the National Unemployment Register, the data on unemployed individuals in Switzerland (after the unemployment referendum) was gathered. Once gathered, the inflow of unemployment which happened during the time period of October 1997 to March 1998 was observed until May 1999.
Several advantages to using this sampling method, according to the researchers are: First, all the unemployed individuals considered became unemployed after the referendum took place. Second, the sample is representative of the inflow of unemployment. Third, we have observations on duration of unemployment for more than 85% of Swiss communities. (p. 9). The samples were unemployed people who didn’t choose to be unemployed and were not only Swiss people, but also foreigners who have permanent residency in Switzerland.
It was observed that the median duration of unemployment was shorter in places with the higher social norm to work, and longer in places with lower social norm to work. Self-reported life satisfaction of the subjects is also dependent negatively on “income aspirations” when own income is held constant. On the other hand, these so-called income aspirations depend positively on what the average income is in one’s society. Because of this, the belief that average local income causes a decrease in SWB was established. My view of this is that the want of acquiring wealth is not the only the sole determinant of wanting to be employed.
It definitely is correct to assume that the perception of society when it comes to people without jobs is a big factor on why a lot of people tend to freak out if they don’t have work. Most of the time, people don’t want to be considered as a deviation of society. Moving on to subjective well-being, the study is aimed to take a closer look at the SWBs of unemployed and employed people. The method used in the study is still the so-called “happiness survey method,” where the samples are asked questions pertaining to how happy they are.
Clark and Oswald also had the same view of the matter, (as cited in Lalive and Stutzer, 2001) which I will state this way: unemployment affects a person’s well being negatively and that effect is greater than the effect of other life experiences such as divorce or marital separation. In the present research, Lalive and Stutzer also agreed to and stated that: “Unemployed people report, on average, considerably lower scores for satisfaction with life (6. 25) than employed people (8. 14). ” (p. 12).
The researchers also pointed out that accordingly, the difference in life satisfaction between employed and unemployed people is hypothesized to be larger in communities with an above average strength of social work norm. (p. 12). One example I can think of that is related to this theory is this: s It is a culture in most Asian countries that a son/daughter who has graduated from college and gets work should shoulder a big part, if not all, of the expenses/bills in the house, as compared to European countries wherein the son/daughter is not required to shoulder the expenses of household.
Since that is the social norm in Asian countries, then, an unemployed son/daughter would definitely have low SWBs unlike a European son/daughter who is unemployed too. I do agree with the findings presented and the way the study was conducted. Unemployment partnered with the social norm does affect the SWB greatly. The only thing I’m questioning would be the finding that life events/social relationship (e. g. marital separation) has lesser impact on SWB compared to unemployment. (But since my focus is on unemployment, I will not be discussing the item marital separation/other life events. )