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Personal Well-Being In Urban China

  • Russell Smyth
  • Ingrid Nielsen
  • Qingguo Zhai

This paper reports the findings of a survey administering the Personal Well-Being Index in six Chinese cities (N=3390) to ascertain the personal well-being of China's urban population.The specific aims of the study were: (a) ascertain whether Chinese urban residents are satisfied with their lives; (b) validate the PWI using an urban sample that is representative of the urban population and larger in size than that which has been utilized in existing studies for Mainland China; (c) compare the results to existing studies for Hong Kong, Macau, rural China and single city studies which have administered the PWI in Guangdong and Shandong; (d) examine whether the responses to the PWI from participants falls within the narrow range predicted by the ???Theory of Subjective Wellbeing Homeostasis??? and provide further evidence on whether this framework is applicable to Chinese samples; and (e) examine which participant characteristics predict personal well-being, examine whether own income and/or relative income predicts personal well-being and compare these results with previous studies for China and other countries. The data indicated a moderate level of personal well-being (PWI score = 67.1). The PWI demonstrated good psychometric performance in terms of its reliability, validity and sensitivity, consistent with previous published studies. The PWI was within the normative range for non-Western countries and was within the narrow band predicted by the ???Theory of Subjective Wellbeing Homeostasis???. Similar variables were found to predict personal well-being to those found in previous studies for China and elsewhere.

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File URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/units/dru/papers/working-papers-09/09-01personalsmythnielsenzhou.pdf
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Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Development Research Unit Working Paper Series with number 01-09.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:druwps:2009-01
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