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Internet Use and Lower Life Satisfaction: The Mediating Effect of Environmental Quality Perception

Jiaping Zhang, Mingwang Cheng and Ning Yu

Ecological Economics, 2020, vol. 176, issue C

Abstract: This paper studies the impact of Internet use on life satisfaction, and the channel through which this impact occurs by using data from the 2016 China Family Panel Studies. Employing seemingly unrelated regression to estimate mediation models, we find that in China, Internet use makes people significantly less satisfied with the environmental quality and their living conditions; meanwhile, the dissatisfaction in environmental quality caused by Internet use plausibly mediates the negative effect of Internet use on life satisfaction. Heterogeneity analyses confirm significant differences with regard to the urban-rural division, gender and relative income. Furthermore, the more important the Internet is for an individual's information acquisition, the less satisfied he or she feels with environmental quality and living conditions. The findings shed light on several policy-relevant issues, e.g., the relationship between Internet use and environmental activism.

Keywords: Internet use; Environmental quality perception; Life satisfaction; Mediating effect (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2020.106725

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