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Does Economic Growth Raise Happiness in China?

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  • John Knight
  • Ramani Gunatilaka

Abstract

Various measures of satisfaction with life or happiness in China appear not to have risen in recent years, despite China's remarkable growth of income per capita. The paper brings together and integrates the results of four papers by the authors to provide a methodologically and substantively innovative explanation for this paradox. The four papers are based on a cross-section national household survey relating to 2002 and containing questions on subjective well-being. Their findings help to explain the time-series evidence: they highlight the importance of relative income, rising urban insecurity, rapid urbanization, and changing reference groups in preventing happiness from rising with income.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13600818.2010.551006
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-24

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Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:39:y:2011:i:1:p:1-24

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Cited by:
  1. Breinlich, Holger & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2014. "Regional Growth and Regional Decline," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 4, pages 683-779 Elsevier.
  2. John Knight, 2012. "The Economic Causes and Consequences of Social Instability in China," Economics Series Working Papers 619, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Liu, Zhiqiang & Shang, Qingyan, 2012. "Individual well-being in urban China: The role of income expectations," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 833-849.
  4. Jiayuan Li & John Raine, 2014. "The Time Trend of Life Satisfaction in China," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 116(2), pages 409-427, April.
  5. Vinod Mishra & Ingrid Nielsen & Russell Smyth, 2014. "How Does Relative Income and Variations in Short-Run Wellbeing Affect Wellbeing in the Long Run? Empirical Evidence From China’s Korean Minority," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 115(1), pages 67-91, January.
  6. Rajan, Keertichandra & Kennedy, Jonathan & King, Lawrence, 2013. "Is wealthier always healthier in poor countries? The health implications of income, inequality, poverty, and literacy in India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 98-107.
  7. Xavier Fontaine & Katsunori Yamada, 2012. "Economic Comparison and Group Identity: Lessons from India," PSE Working Papers hal-00711212, HAL.
  8. John Knight & Ramani Gunatilak, 2014. "Subjective Well-being and Social Evaluation in a Poor Country," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  9. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00711212 is not listed on IDEAS

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