IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/jdevst/v46y2010i3p506-534.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Rural-Urban Divide in China: Income but Not Happiness?

Author

Listed:
  • John Knight
  • Ramani Gunatilaka

Abstract

The paper presents subjective well-being functions for urban and rural China, based on a national household survey for 2002. Whereas the vast income disparity between urban and rural households is confirmed, it is found that, remarkably, rural households report higher subjective well-being than do their richer urban counterparts. A decomposition analysis explores the reasons for this reversal. It finds that there are many determinants of happiness other than absolute income, and that the determinants differ in the two sectors. An explanation for the puzzle is advanced in terms of relative concepts, income inequalities, orbits of comparison, and degrees of insecurity. Positive and normative implications are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • John Knight & Ramani Gunatilaka, 2010. "The Rural-Urban Divide in China: Income but Not Happiness?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 506-534.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:46:y:2010:i:3:p:506-534
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380903012763
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00220380903012763
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 1-102.
    2. Richard A. Easterlin, 2008. "Lost in Transition: Life Satisfaction on the Road to Capitalism," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 94, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. repec:bla:scotjp:v:64:y:2017:i:1:p:1-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. John Knight & Ramani Gunatilaka, 2017. "Is Happiness Infectious?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 64(1), pages 1-24, February.
    5. Easterlin, Richard A., 2008. "Lost in Transition: Life Satisfaction on the Road to Capitalism," IZA Discussion Papers 3409, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:46:y:2010:i:3:p:506-534. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/FJDS20 .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.