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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingrid Nielsen & Olga Paritski & Russell Smyth, 2009. "Subjective Well-Being Of Beijing Taxi Drivers," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 03-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:druwps:2009-03
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    File URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/units/dru/papers/working-papers-09/09-03taxidriversnielsenparitskismyth.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daniela Renn & Nicole Pfaffenberger & Marion Platter & Horst Mitmansgruber & Robert Cummins & Stefan Höfer, 2009. "International Well-being Index: The Austrian Version," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 90(2), pages 243-256, January.
    2. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
    3. Russell Smyth & Ingrid Nielsen & Qingguo Zhai, 2010. "Personal Well-being in Urban China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 231-251, January.
    4. Ingrid Nielsen & Russell Smyth & Qingguo Zhai, 2010. "Subjective Well-Being of China’s Off-Farm Migrants," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 315-333, June.
    5. Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina, 2008. "Life Satisfaction in Urban China: Components and Determinants," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2325-2340, November.
    6. KNIGHT, John & SONG, Lina & GUNATILAKA, Ramani, 2009. "Subjective well-being and its determinants in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 635-649, December.
    7. 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, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
    8. Robert Cummins & Helen Nistico, 2002. "Maintaining Life Satisfaction: The Role of Positive Cognitive Bias," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 37-69, March.
    9. David Webb, 2009. "Subjective Wellbeing on the Tibetan Plateau: An Exploratory Investigation," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 10(6), pages 753-768, December.
    10. 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, vol. 10(2), pages 239-252, April.
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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," Monash Economics Working Papers 51-10, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    2. 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: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 115(1), pages 67-91, January.
    3. Ingrid Nielsen & Sen Sendjaya, 2014. "Wellbeing Among Indonesian Labour Migrants to Malaysia: Implications of the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 919-938, July.
    4. Gareth Davey & Ricardo Rato, 2012. "Subjective Wellbeing in China: A Review," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 333-346, April.
    5. Zhiming Cheng, 2014. "Layoffs and Urban Poverty in the State-Owned Enterprise Communities in Shaanxi Province, China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 116(1), pages 199-233, March.
    6. Zhanjun Xing & Liqing Huang, 2014. "The Relationship Between Age and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Five Capital Cities in Mainland China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 743-756, July.
    7. Ricardo Rato & Gareth Davey, 2012. "Quality of Life in Macau, China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 105(1), pages 93-108, January.
    8. Vinod Mishra & Ingrid Nielsen & Russell Smyth & Alex Newman, 2014. "The Job Satisfaction-Life Satisfaction Relationship Revisited: Using the Lewbel Estimation Technique to Estimate Causal Effects Using Cross-Sectional Data," Monash Economics Working Papers 26-14, Monash University, Department of Economics.

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    Keywords

    China; Personal Wellbeing Index; Subjective Wellbeing;

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