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Growth and Subjective Well-Being in China

Robson Morgan and Fei Wang ()
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Robson Morgan: Keck Graduate Institute
Fei Wang: Renmin University of China

Chapter 25 in The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative Economics, 2021, pp 635-660 from Springer

Abstract: Abstract China has not experienced subjective well-being prosperity since 1990 despite its unprecedented economic growth in the period. This chapter summarizes a few prior studies of subjective well-being trends in urban China since 1990 and expands on rural well-being in 2000s when data are available. The urban well-being has substantially declined since 1990 with a mild recovery starting in the early 2000s. The rural well-being, consistent with urban, has been climbing up in the 2000s. Both macro- and micro-level data corroborate that material wealth fails to ensure urban subjective well-being over time and factors such as labor market strength, social safety net generosity, and social comparisons are more important in determining the well-being. Suggestive evidence endorses a similar story for rural well-being in China.

Keywords: Subjective well-being; China; Labor market; Social safety net; Social comparison (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-50888-3_25

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