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Life Satisfaction in Urban China: Components and Determinants

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  • Song, Lina

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

  • Appleton, Simon

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

Survey data from urban China in 2002 show levels of life satisfaction to be low, but not exceptionally so, by international comparison. Many of the determinants of life satisfaction in urban China appear comparable to those for people in other countries. These include, inter alia, unemployment, income, marriage, sex, health and age. Communist Party membership and political participation raise life satisfaction. People appear fairly satisfied with economic growth and low inflation, and this contributes to their overall life satisfaction. There is dissatisfaction over pollution, but this – like job insecurity – does not appear to impact on life satisfaction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3443.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: World Development, 2008, 36 (11), 2325-2340
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3443

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Keywords: economic growth; happiness; life satisfaction; unemployment; China;

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References

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  1. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  2. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2001, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  3. Knight, John & Song, Lina, 1995. "Towards a Labour Market in China," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 97-117, Winter.
  4. Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina & Knight, John & Xia, Qingjie, 2006. "The economics of Communist Party membership - The Curious case of rising numbers and wage premium during China’s transition," MPRA Paper 8345, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jan 2008.
  5. Björn Gustafsson & Shi Li, 2000. "Economic transformation and the gender earnings gap in urban China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 305-329.
  6. Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina & Xia, Qingjie, 2005. "Has China crossed the river? The evolution of wage structure in urban China during reform and retrenchment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 644-663, December.
  7. Jonathan Morduch & Terry Sicular, 1998. "Politics, Growth and Inequality in Rural China: Does It Pay To Join the Party?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1832, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. John Knight & Lina Song, 2003. "Increasing urban wage inequality in China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(4), pages 597-619, December.
  9. Simon Appleton & John Knight & Lina Song & Qingjie Xia, 2004. "Contrasting paradigms: segmentation and competitiveness in the formation of the chinese labour market," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(3), pages 185-205.
  10. Knight, John & Song, Lina, 1999. "The Rural-Urban Divide: Economic Disparities and Interactions in China," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293309.
  11. Appleton, Simon & Knight, John & Song, Lina & Xia, Qingjie, 2002. "Labor retrenchment in China: Determinants and consequences," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 252-275.
  12. John Knight & Lina Song, 2007. "Subjective Well-being and its Determinants in Rural China," Economics Series Working Papers 334, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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