Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 8, 2019

Elevated Uncertainty during the Financial Crisis: Do Effects on Subjective Well-Being Differ across European Countries?

Lena Tonzer


This paper focuses on the effect of uncertainty as reflected by financial market variables on subjective well-being. The analysis is based on Eurobarometer surveys, covering 18 countries over the period 2000–2013. Individuals report lower levels of life satisfaction in times of higher uncertainty approximated by stock market volatility. This effect is heterogeneous across respondents: the probability of being unsatisfied is higher for respondents who are older, unemployed, less educated, and live in one of the GIIPS countries of the Euro area. Furthermore, higher uncertainty in combination with a financial crisis increases the probability of reporting low values of life satisfaction.

JEL Classification: D60; G01; I31

Supplementary Material

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We would like to thank Claudia M. Buch, Manuel Buchholz, Philip Maschke, Dimitar Nikoloski, Felix Noth, Konstantin Wagner, Christoph Wunder, Qizhou Xiong, an anonymous referee, and workshop participants at the Halle Institute for Economic Research, the Economics, Health, and Happiness Conference 2016, and the Annual Meeting of the German Economic Association 2016 for their helpful comments and suggestions. Annika Bacher and Friederike Haberstroh provided highly efficient research assistance. All errors and inconsistencies are solely our own.


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Published Online: 2019-02-08

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