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Explaining Individual Subjective Well-Being of Urban China Based on the Four-Capital Model

Shuai Zhang (), Binbin Liu (), Dajian Zhu () and Mingwang Cheng ()
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Shuai Zhang: College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
Binbin Liu: Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
Dajian Zhu: School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
Mingwang Cheng: School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 10, 1-14

Abstract: A growing body of literature explains subjective well-being (SWB) from different perspectives. The statement of “built, human, social, and natural capital are necessary determinants of SWB” is named the four-capital model. Based on a cross-sectional dataset in 2013, which included 3293 individuals and covered the urban areas of most provinces in China, this paper employs the four-capital model to explain individual SWB of urban China. We select individual income and household income per capita as proxies of built capital; physical health and education as proxies of human capital; social connection and social trust as proxies of social capital; and air quality as a proxy of natural capital. In the four-capital model, household income per capita and physical health have almost the same and larger positive impacts on individual SWB of urban China; social connection, social trust, and air quality have smaller and diminishing positive impacts on individual SWB of urban China; and individual income and education are statistically insignificant. The empirical results offer guidance on how to achieve human-centered urbanization for China. This paper provides insights into how to further improve human well-being of urban residents in China and the applicability of the four-capital model in explaining SWB at the individual level.

Keywords: subjective well-being; four-capital model; individual level; urban China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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