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How Do Individual-Level Characteristics Influence Cross-Domain Risk Perceptions Among Chinese Urban Residents?

Yanbo Zhang, Yibao Wang, Ahmad Bayiz Ahmad, Ashfaq Ahmad Shah and Wen Qing

SAGE Open, 2021, vol. 11, issue 2, 21582440211003570

Abstract: While previous studies show that risk perceptions vary across populations and domains, there is little empirical evidence on the interplay between individual-level characteristics and risk domains in shaping perceived social risks in a country such as China. This study examines empirically the effects of individual-level characteristics on risk perceptions across different domains. Based on a large sample survey data from 31 provincial capitals in China, our analysis demonstrates that risk perceptions fall into four domains: contingencies, health threat, natural hazards, and social security. The multilevel model estimates indicate that confidence in local government responsible for risk management and being a male are uniformly and significantly correlated to less risk perceptions among all risk domains. Education presents a consistent pattern in amplifying risk perceptions, with only some effects on perceived health threat and contingencies displaying statistical significance. Also, age and income exhibit mixed associations with risk perceptions, only with age significantly attenuating perceived contingencies. The results also demonstrate that religious faith, party membership, and Hukou are related to risk perceptions. We discuss the theoretical and policy implications of our findings and conclude with research limitations and future research avenues.

Keywords: risk perception; confidence in government; sociodemographic factors; multilevel model; urban China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/21582440211003570

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