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Better Government, Happier Residents? Quality of Government and Life Satisfaction in China

Huaxing Liu, Hong Gao and Qing Huang
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Huaxing Liu: Shandong University
Hong Gao: China University of Political Science and Law
Qing Huang: Shandong University

Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, 2020, vol. 147, issue 3, No 12, 990 pages

Abstract: Abstract How quality of government affects residents’ life satisfaction is a seldom discussed subject, especially in a non-democratic context. This research aims to address that gap by focusing on the case of China. It investigates the relation between different aspects of quality of government and Chinese residents’ happiness. Our data was provided by telephone interviews of 5015 residents in Shandong Province. The findings indicate that the majority of China’s citizens consider their lives offer them a high level of satisfaction. Positively and significantly contributing to their life satisfaction are the government’s trustworthiness and responsiveness, and its performance in public service delivery. This result implies that the quality of government has a positive and important impact on Chinese citizens’ happiness, both technically in terms of its ability to deliver public services efficiently, and politically in terms of the extent of democracy involved. But of these, it seems that the former is the more significant. The reasons for this lie in the country’s level of economic development, in China’s political culture, and in the policing mechanisms of the regime.

Keywords: Quality of government; Life satisfaction; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11205-019-02172-2

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