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Subjective Well-Being Of China'S Off-Farm Migrants

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  • Russell Smyth
  • Ingrid Nielsen
  • Qingguo Zhai

Abstract

Existing research applying the Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI) in China is restricted to urban and rural samples. There are no studies for Chinese off-farm migrants. The specific aims of this study are (a) ascertain whether Chinese off-farm are satisfied with their lives; (b) investigate the equivalence of the PWI in terms of its psychometric properties; and (c) examine whether the responses to the PWI from participants falls within the narrow range predicted by the 'Theory of Subjective Wellbeing Homeostasis???. The PWI demonstrated good psychometric performance in terms of its reliability, validity and sensibility and was consistent with previous studies for Western and non-Western samples. The data revealed a moderate level of subjective well-being (PWI score = 62.6). While Chinese off-farm migrants lead hard lives, the PWI was within the normative range predicted for Chinese societies by the 'Theory of Subjective Wellbeing Homeostasis'. A likely explanation for this finding rests with the circular nature of migration in China. When China's offfarm migrants find it too difficult to cope in the cities, most have the fallback position that they can return to their homes in the countryside. This option provides an external buffer to minimize the inherent challenges of life which would otherwise impinge on the life satisfaction of China's off-farm migrants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Development Research Unit Working Paper Series with number 02-09.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 02 Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:druwps:2009-02

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Keywords: China; Personal Wellbeing Index; Subjective Wellbeing;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Ingrid Nielsen & Sen Sendjaya, 2014. "Wellbeing Among Indonesian Labour Migrants to Malaysia: Implications of the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 919-938, July.
  2. Vinod Mishra & Ingrid Nielsen & Russell Smyth, 2010. "Relative Income, Temporary Life Shocks and Subjective Wellbeing in the Long-run," Monash Economics Working Papers 51-10, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  3. Carlsson, Fredrik & Lampi, Elina & Li, Wanxin & Martinsson, Peter, 2014. "Subjective well-being among preadolescents and their parents – Evidence of intergenerational transmission of well-being from urban China," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 11-18.
  4. Ricardo Rato & Gareth Davey, 2012. "Quality of Life in Macau, China," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 105(1), pages 93-108, January.
  5. Carlsson, Fredrik & Lampi, Elina & Li, Wanxin & Martinsson, Peter, 2011. "Subjective well-being among preadolescents - Evidence from urban China," Working Papers in Economics 500, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  6. Chau-kiu Cheung & Raymond Ngan, 2012. "Filtered Life Satisfaction and Its Socioeconomic Determinants in Hong Kong," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 109(2), pages 223-242, November.
  7. Rongwei Chu & Henry Hail, 2014. "Winding Road Toward the Chinese Dream: The U-shaped Relationship Between Income and Life Satisfaction Among Chinese Migrant Workers," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 118(1), pages 235-246, August.
  8. Feng Hu, 2013. "Homeownership and Subjective Wellbeing in Urban China: Does Owning a House Make You Happier?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 951-971, February.
  9. Ingrid Nielsen & Olga Paritski & Russell Smyth, 2009. "Subjective Well-Being Of Beijing Taxi Drivers," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 03-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  10. 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, Springer, vol. 115(1), pages 67-91, January.
  11. Gareth Davey & Ricardo Rato, 2012. "Subjective Wellbeing in China: A Review," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 333-346, April.
  12. Stillman, Steven & Gibson, John & McKenzie, David & Rohorua, Halahingano, 2012. "Miserable Migrants? Natural Experiment Evidence on International Migration and Objective and Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 6871, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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