Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

What Keeps China’s Migrant Workers Going? Expectations and Happiness Among China’s Floating Population

Contents:

Author Info

  • Wenshu Gao
  • Russell Smyth

Abstract

China‟s rural-urban migrants have been the engine room that has driven China‟s high rate of economic growth; however, their living and working conditions are poor. This paper addresses the question: What keeps China‟s migrant workers going? We seek to answer this question through examining the determinants of the happiness of China‟s rural-urban migrants, drawing on a large-scale survey administered across 12 cities in 2005. We find that expectations as to future income is an important determinant of happiness. This suggests that many migrants expect their financial position and, by extension, their lives more generally to get better in the future and that this is having a positive effect on their current levels of happiness. The effect of optimistic expectations outstrips any realistic increase in own income. We find that for those who expect a big increase in income over the next five years, this translates to an increase in average monthly income of 380 per cent and for those who expect a small increase in income over the next five years this translates to an increase in average monthly income of 200 per cent to obtain an equivalent increase in happiness compared with those who expect no change in income. This finding has important implications for economic growth and socio-economic stability in China given that maintaining socio-economic stability is important to maintain China‟s high rate of economic growth and positive expectations about future income are important for maintaining socio-economic stability during times of economic transition.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/research/papers/2010/1410chinagaosmyth.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 14-10.

as in new window
Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2010-14

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia
Phone: +61-3-9905-2493
Fax: +61-3-9905-5476
Email:
Web page: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Email:
Web: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/research/papers/

Related research

Keywords:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Gowdy, John M., 2007. "Environmental degradation and happiness," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 509-516, January.
  2. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2010-14. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Simon Angus).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.