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The Dark Side of Chinese Growth: Declining Social Capital and Well-Being in Times of Economic Boom

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  • Bartolini, Stefano
  • Sarracino, Francesco

Abstract

Over the last two decades, subjective well-being in China declined. Using data from the World Values Survey, we identify predictors of the trend in life satisfaction in China during 1990–2007. Social comparisons and the decline of social capital explain the decrease in well-being, and they are strictly connected to the increasing orientation of Chinese people toward materialistic values. The increasing role of social comparisons is also a key factor in the increase of well-being inequalities between income classes.

Suggested Citation

  • Bartolini, Stefano & Sarracino, Francesco, 2015. "The Dark Side of Chinese Growth: Declining Social Capital and Well-Being in Times of Economic Boom," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 333-351.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:74:y:2015:i:c:p:333-351
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2015.05.010
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