Life Satisfaction, Pro-Activity, and Employment

36 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2021

See all articles by Alpaslan Akay

Alpaslan Akay

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Gokhan Karabulut

Istanbul University; istanbul √ľniversitesi

Levent Yilmaz

Turkish-German University


Using longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), this paper investigates how pro-active time-use (e.g., in sports/arts/socializing) relates to subjective well-being of the unemployed and their probability of finding a new job. Allowing for a variety of socio-demographic and -economic observed characteristics, we find that pro-activity is negatively associated with the well-being loss upon unemployment. That is, the negative unemployment shock on their well-being is mitigated through various stress-reducing activities including, in particular, art participation, socializing, going on trips, and visiting a church. We also find that the probability of returning to the labor market later is positively associated with proactivity during the unemployment period. The results are robust to various checks including estimators, measures, and individual personality characteristics which can correlate with time-use activities.

JEL Classification: I31, J64, J69

Suggested Citation

Akay, Alpaslan and Karabulut, Gokhan and Yilmaz, Levent, Life Satisfaction, Pro-Activity, and Employment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14117, Available at SSRN:

Alpaslan Akay (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Gokhan Karabulut

Istanbul University ( email )


istanbul √ľniversitesi ( email )

34459 Istanbul
05309304154 (Phone)
34684 (Fax)

Levent Yilmaz

Turkish-German University ( email )

Sahinkaya Cad. 106
Istanbul, Beykoz 34820

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