Jing Shen, Irena Kogan
Job Loss or Income Loss: How the Detrimental Effect of Unemployment on Men's Life Satisfaction Differs by Immigration Status

Frontiers in Sociology, 2020: 5, (article no. 10), pp. 1-14 (e-only)

Driven by the ongoing debate of job loss vs. income loss in understanding the detrimental effect of unemployment, this study examines how perceptions of unemployment and the resulting levels of life satisfaction differ by immigration status. Based on a countrywide longitudinal dataset in the UK, findings show that immigrant men's life satisfaction suffers more from the detrimental effect of job loss per se, whereas that of native-born men suffers more in the pecuniary respect, which is mainly driven by perceived financial strain, instead of objective income loss. By further examining the heterogeneity among immigrant men themselves, we find similar differences between recent non-EU immigrant men and the rest of the group. While job loss causes a deeper decline in life satisfaction for recent non-EU immigrant men, income loss causes a deeper decline in life satisfaction for recent EU and established immigrant men. We attribute those differences to the extent to which one's legal status in the country is vulnerable to unemployment.