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Dr. Alan Piper

Lecturer (Economics)

Institutional Mailing Address

Institut für Anglistik, Amerikanistik und Keltologie
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Regina-Pacis-Weg 5
53113 Bonn

Email: apiper[at]

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Alan Piper’s research is applied economics and quantitative social science, with a particular focus on the empirical study of human well-being. Trained in economics (BA, MA, PhD), the issues he investigates are of relevance for contemporary society and have considered economic development, education, labour markets and employment. Recently researched topics include gender inequality, the link between education and employment, employment contract type, and the integration of migrants into the labour market. Other work includes investigations into ageing, the empty nest syndrome, and sleep. His research work has contributed to official government documents, and featured in both local and national, print and radio media in Germany. Collectively, his work was short-listed for the 2019 Ruut Veenhoven Award and commended for its innovation and excellence. Alan has taught economics and related disciplines in the UK and Germany for twenty years, being nominated for several teaching prizes during this time. Furthermore, he has supervised approximately 100 BA and MA theses on economics and broader business and management topics, and regularly peer-reviews articles for economics and wider social science journals.



Refereed articles

  • “Property rights and intellectual property protection, GDP and individual well-being in Latin America(2019, with Amina Ahmed Lahsen), Latin American Economic Review, 28(12), pp. 1-21.
  • “Different strokes for different folks: Entrepreneurs' job satisfaction and the intersection of gender and migration background” (2019, with Teita Bijedic), International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, 11(3), pp. 227-247.
  •  “An Investigation into the reported closing of the Nicaraguan gender gap” (2019), Social Indicators Research, 144(3), pp. 1391-1413.
  • “Satisfactions comparisons: women with families, full-time and part-time self-employed” (2017, with Ilona Ebbers), International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, 9(2), pp. 171-187.
  •  “Sleep duration and life satisfaction” (2016), International Review of Economics, 63(4), pp. 305-325.
  •  “Issues in the estimation of dynamic happiness models: A comment on ‘does childhood predict adult life satisfaction?’” (2016, with Geoff Pugh), Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, 10, pp. 1-6.
  • “Sliding down the U-shape? A dynamic panel investigation of the age-well-being relationship, focusing on young adults” (2015), Social Science & Medicine, 143, pp. 54-61.
  • “Europe’s capital cities and the happiness penalty: an investigation using the European Social Survey” (2015) Social Indicators Research, 123(1), pp. 103-126.
  • “Heaven knows I’m miserable now: overeducation and reduced life satisfaction” (2015) Education Economics,23(6), pp. 677-692.

Selected working papers

  • An Economic analysis of the empty nest syndrome: What the leaving child does matters (2021) Diskussionsbeiträge, No. 2021/04, Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaft, Freie Universität Berlin.
  • Temps dip deeper: Temporary employment and the midlife nadir in human well-being (2020), SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research No. 1027.
  • Kim Jiyoung, born 1982, and the labour market: Overeducation, gender, income and life satisfaction. Panel evidence from Korea (2020, with Amina Ahmed Lahsen and Ida-Anna Thiele), Diskussionsbeiträge, No. 2020/10, Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaft, Freie Universität Berlin.
  • Optimism, pessimism and life satisfaction: An empirical investigation (2019), SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research No. 1027.
  • Adult life satisfaction: largely (though not wholly) contemporaneous? A System General Method of Moments dynamic panel analysis (2018) MPRA Paper No. 85601
  • She’s leaving home: A large sample investigation of the empty nest syndrome (2017, with Ian Jackson), SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research No. 910.
  • A Happiness Test of the Human Capital Theory (2012), MPRA Paper No. 43496

Book chapters, other

  • “Gender (in-)equality and the life course” (2019, with Gerd Grözinger), Wirtschaftsdienst, 99(4), pp. 272-277.
  • “Existenzgründung von Frauen im Care-Bereich – Effekte von Arbeitszeit, Arbeitsform und Einkommen auf Arbeits- und Lebenszufriedenheit“ (2018, with Ilona Ebbers and Kirsten Mikkelsen), in: Mario Pfannstiel, Patrick Da-Cruz, Christoph Rasche (eds.), Entrepreneurship im Gesundheitswesen I, pp. 201-220.
  • “Fear of the Future” (2016), in: Leo Bormans (ed.), The World Book of Hope: The Source of Happiness, Success and Strength, pp. 311-313.