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Environmental Surroundings And Personal Well-Being In Urban China

Author

Listed:
  • Russell Smyth
  • Ingrid Nielsen
  • Qingguo Zhai
  • Tiemin Liu
  • Yin Liu
  • Chunyong Tang
  • Zhihong Wang
  • Zuxiang Wang
  • Juyong Zhang

Abstract

We examine the relationship between atmospheric pollution, water pollution, traffic congestion, access to parkland and personal well-being using a survey administered across six Chinese cities in 2007. In contrast to existing studies of the determinants of well-being by economists, which have typically employed single item indicators to measure well-being, we use the Personal Well-Being Index (PWI). We also employ the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS) to measure job satisfaction, which is one of the variables for which we control when examining the relationship between environmental surroundings and personal well-being. Previous research by psychologists has shown the PWI and JSS to have good psychometric properties in western and Chinese samples. A robust finding is that in cities with higher levels of atmospheric pollution and traffic congestion, respondents report lower levels of personal well-being ceteris paribus. Specifically, we find that a one standard deviation increase in suspended particles or sulphur dioxide emissions is roughly equivalent to a 12-13 per cent reduction in average monthly income in the six cities.

Suggested Citation

  • Russell Smyth & Ingrid Nielsen & Qingguo Zhai & Tiemin Liu & Yin Liu & Chunyong Tang & Zhihong Wang & Zuxiang Wang & Juyong Zhang, 2009. "Environmental Surroundings And Personal Well-Being In Urban China," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 11-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:druwps:2009-11
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; Environment; Pollution; Personal Well-Being.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General

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