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Subjective Well-Being Of Beijing Taxi Drivers

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  • Ingrid Nielsen
  • Olga Paritski
  • Russell Smyth

Abstract

This study investigates subjective well-being among a sample of Beijing taxi drivers in the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games using the Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI). The specific aims of this study are (a) ascertain whether Beijing taxi drivers are satisfied with their lives; (b) investigate the psychometric properties of the PWI in this unique population; 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 properties and was consistent with previous studies for Western and non-Western samples. The data revealed a moderate level of subjective well-being (PWI score = 61.1). While Beijing taxi drivers work long hours for low wages, the PWI was nonetheless within the normative range predicted for Chinese societies by the ???Theory of Subjective Wellbeing Homeostasis???. The results suggest that the homeostatic mechanism is fairly resilient, even when the individual leads a hard life based on objective indicators. For Beijing taxi drivers, it may be that personal relationships and feeling part of the community acts as an important buffer for the homeostatic system.

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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 03-09.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:druwps:2009-03

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Keywords: China; Personal Wellbeing Index; Subjective Wellbeing;

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References

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  1. Song, Lina & Appleton, Simon, 2008. "Life Satisfaction in Urban China: Components and Determinants," IZA Discussion Papers, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) 3443, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. KNIGHT, John & SONG, Lina & GUNATILAKA, Ramani, 2009. "Subjective well-being and its determinants in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 635-649, December.
  3. repec:mos:druwps:2009-01 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Gareth Davey & Zhenghui Chen & Anna Lau, 2009. "‘Peace in a Thatched Hut—that is Happiness’: Subjective Wellbeing Among Peasants in Rural China," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 239-252, April.
  5. Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," IZA Discussion Papers, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) 2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
  7. Robert Cummins & Helen Nistico, 2002. "Maintaining Life Satisfaction: The Role of Positive Cognitive Bias," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 37-69, March.
  8. David Webb, 2009. "Subjective Wellbeing on the Tibetan Plateau: An Exploratory Investigation," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(6), pages 753-768, December.
  9. Ingrid Nielsen & Russell Smyth & Qingguo Zhai, 2010. "Subjective Well-Being of China’s Off-Farm Migrants," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 315-333, June.
  10. Daniela Renn & Nicole Pfaffenberger & Marion Platter & Horst Mitmansgruber & Robert Cummins & Stefan Höfer, 2009. "International Well-being Index: The Austrian Version," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 90(2), pages 243-256, January.
  11. Russell Smyth & Ingrid Nielsen & Qingguo Zhai, 2010. "Personal Well-being in Urban China," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 231-251, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Vinod Mishra & Ingrid Nielsen & Russell Smyth, 2010. "Relative Income, Temporary Life Shocks and Subjective Wellbeing in the Long-run," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series, Monash University, Department of Economics 51-10, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  2. Zhanjun Xing & Liqing Huang, 2014. "The Relationship Between Age and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Five Capital Cities in Mainland China," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 743-756, July.
  3. Gareth Davey & Ricardo Rato, 2012. "Subjective Wellbeing in China: A Review," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 333-346, April.
  4. Zhiming Cheng, 2014. "Layoffs and Urban Poverty in the State-Owned Enterprise Communities in Shaanxi Province, China," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 116(1), pages 199-233, March.
  5. Ricardo Rato & Gareth Davey, 2012. "Quality of Life in Macau, China," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 105(1), pages 93-108, January.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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