Aspirations, Adaptation and Subjective Well-Being of Rural-Urban Migrants in China
This research is among the first to link the literatures on migration and on subjective well-being in developing countries. It poses the question: why do rural-urban migrant households settled in urban China have an average happiness score lower than that of rural households? It examines the hypothesis that migrants have false expectations because they cannot foresee how their aspirations will adapt to their new situation, and draws on research on both psychology and sociology. Estimated happiness functions and decomposition analyses, based on a 2002 national household survey, suggest that their high aspirations in relation to achievement, influenced by their new reference groups, make for unhappiness. The evidence is consistent with the hypothesis.
|Date of creation:||01 Jan 2008|
|Date of revision:|
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Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/
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- 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.
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- Matthew Rabin., 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Economics Working Papers 97-251, University of California at Berkeley.
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- John Knight & Ramani Gunatilaka, 2007.
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322, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Knight, John & Gunatilaka, Ramani, 2010. "Great Expectations? The Subjective Well-being of Rural-Urban Migrants in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 113-124, January.
- Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
- Carol Graham, 2005. "Insights on Development from the Economics of Happiness," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 201-231.
- C. Graham & S. Pettinato, 2002. "Frustrated Achievers: Winners, Losers and Subjective Well-Being in New Market Economies," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 100-140.
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