EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Subjective well-being and its determinants in rural China

John Knight, Lina Song and Ramani Gunatilaka

China Economic Review, 2009, vol. 20, issue 4, 635-649

Abstract: A national household survey for 2002, containing a specially designed module on subjective well-being, is used to estimate pioneering happiness functions in rural China. The variables that are predicted by economic theory to be important for happiness prove to be relatively unimportant. Our analysis suggests that we need to draw on psychology and sociology if we are to understand. Rural China is not a hotbed of dissatisfaction with life, possibly because most people are found to confine their reference groups to the village. Relative income within the village and relative income over time, both in the past and expected in the future, are shown to be important for current happiness, whereas current income is less so. Even amidst the poverty of rural China, attitudes, social comparisons and aspirations influence subjective well-being. The implications of the findings for the future and for policy are considered.

Keywords: Happiness; Subjective; well-being; Aspirations; Relative; deprivation; Reference; groups; Poverty; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (220) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043-951X(08)00070-9
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: Subjective Well-being and its Determinants in Rural China (2007) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:chieco:v:20:y:2009:i:4:p:635-649

Access Statistics for this article

China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

More articles in China Economic Review from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

 
Page updated 2019-12-06
Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:20:y:2009:i:4:p:635-649