1. College of Land and Urban-rural Development, Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics, Hangzhou 310018, China 2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China 3. China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China 4. College of Applied Arts and Science, Beijing Union University, Beijing 100191, China
During the last three decades, China has been marked by a remarkable economic growth, however, the greatly enriched material life did not promise Chinese an equal level of happiness. It has been proved that Chinese subjective well-being has been decreasing during the progress of high-speed urbanization. Scholars in Western world have conducted abundant research in influencing factors of residents' subjective well-being and evaluation of happy city. There is lack of studies aimed at Chinese residents, especially the systematic analysis of the influence by geographical background effect posed on the residents' subjective well-being. Taking all the prefecture-level cities in the Bohai Rim area as a case study, based on large sample survey questionnaires, objective statistics and census data, this paper analyzed the spatial distribution of subjective well-being at inter-city scale. Happiness function improved by multilevel modeling and GIS-based spatial analysis method are also applied to analyze the influencing factors of residents' subjective well-being. The conclusions are as follows: (1) There is significant disparity of residents' subjective well-being between cities. Most of the cities with more happy samples are in Liaoning province, while those with more unhappy samples are found in the majority of cities in Hebei province except Zhangjiakou and Chengde. (2) Urban scale and economic development are negatively related to residents' subjective well-being. People living in the biggest city are most unhappy with life, however, the high income can weaken the unhappiness. (3) Environment pollution has reduced the residents' subjective well-being, while positive evaluation of natural environment is helpful to improve residents' happiness. (4) Social security and human environment are positively related to the subjective well-being. The widening wealth inequality and urban diseases, such as pollution, traffic jam and housing shortage, should be responsible for the lowest degree of subjective well-being of residents living in the biggest cities. Even so, people are more likely to live in big cities. One possible reason is that the individual may be willing to trade off the subjective well-being for other things including high income, social status and accomplishments. Furthermore, individuals may prefer to take actions enabling to achieve the long-term desires and goals, although some of them could make them less happier at present.
. 居民幸福感的城际差异及其影响因素探析——基于多尺度模型的研究[J]. 地理研究,
2018, 37(3): 539-550.
CHEN Li et al
. Inter-city difference and influencing factors of residents' subjective well-being: A study based on multilevel modelling[J]. GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH,
2018, 37(3): 539-550.
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Despite its unprecedented growth in output per capita in the last two decades, China has essentially followed the life satisfaction trajectory of the central and eastern European transition countries- a U-shaped swing and a nil or declining trend. There is no evidence of an increase in life satisfaction of the magnitude that might have been expected to result from the fourfold improvement in the level of per capita consumption that has occurred. As in the European countries, in China the trend and U-shaped pattern appear to be related to a pronounced rise in unemployment followed by a mild decline, and an accompanying dissolution of the social safety net along with growing income inequality. The burden of worsening life satisfaction in China has fallen chiefly on the lowest socioeconomic groups. An initially highly egalitarian distribution of life satisfaction has been replaced by an increasingly unequal one, with decreasing life satisfaction in persons in the bottom third of the income distribution and increasing life satisfaction in those in the top third.
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Abstract The “Easterlin paradox” suggests that there is no link between a society’s economic development and its average level of happiness. We reassess this paradox, analyzing multiple rich datasets spanning many decades. Using recent data on a broader array of countries, we establish a clear positive link between average levels of subjective well-being and GDP per capita across countries, and find no evidence of a satiation point beyond which wealthier countries have no further increases in subjective well-being. We show that the estimated relationship is consistent across many datasets and is similar to that between subjective well-being and income observed within countries. Finally, examining the relationship between changes in subjective well-being and income over time within countries, we find economic growth associated with rising happiness. Together these findings indicate a clear role for absolute income and a more limited role for relative income comparisons in determining happiness.
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The 'Easterlin Paradox' holds that economic growth in nations does not buy greater happiness for the average citizen. This thesis was advanced in the 1970s on the basis of the then available data on happiness in nations. Later data have disproved most of the empirical claims behind the thesis, but Easterlin still maintains that there is no long-term correlation between economic growth and happiness. This last claim was tested using the time trend data available in the World Database of Happiness, which involve 1531 data points in 67 nations that yield 199 time-series ranging from 10 to more than 40 years. The analysis reveals a positive correlation between GDP growth and rise of in happiness in nations. Both GDP and happiness have gone up in most nations, and average happiness has risen more in nations where the economy has grown the most; r =+0.21 p
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We consider the economic and non-economic determinants of well-being across Europe and ask what level of geographical aggregation (for example, individual, regional or national) matters for individual well-being and whether the drivers of well-being differ within and between these different levels. Our results show a more heterogenous set of drivers for individual well-being across regions in Europe than previously described. Not only are individual-level effects significant, but so too are regional factors. In particular, absolute regional factors dominate the effect of an individual's position relative to their region for certain non-economic variables. The significance of these non-economic factors changes depending on the sample of countries considered, but in each case the regional effects dominate for those variables that are significant.
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Social scientists in the comparative policy tradition have long argued that welfare systems in modern capitalist societies can be broken down into ideal types. The idea of different worlds of welfare capitalism has an enduring appeal and growing practical policy relevance as governments seek to enhance population wellbeing. In this paper, we explore the worlds of welfare theory from the perspective of happiness. Drawing on data from theWorld Values Survey, we examine how welfare regimes may contribute to wellbeing and we consider the significance of our findings for the development of social policy. By using multilevel models, it is possible to separate out effects due to observed and unobserved, as well as both individual-level and country-level, welfare state characteristics and we can make inferences to the distribution of social wellbeing across welfare typologies. We find that respondents living in liberal and conservative countries experience at least twice the odds of unhappiness of those living in social democracies, after controlling for individual- and country-level explanatory variables. The observed differences between the worlds of welfare were found to be highly statistically significant.
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The Beijing government has made massive investments in rail transit construction since the 2000s. While existing studies provide marginal values for rail access in the real estate market, little is known about homeowners0964 happiness evaluation of such public investment. Using large-scale micro survey data, this paper estimates, in a difference-in-difference framework, the effects on homeowners0964 happiness about public commuting and other residential realms of a transport improvement that altered the residence09“station distance for some households, whilst leaving others unaffected. The estimation accounts for the endogeneity between the residential location choice and transport choice by using non-market (fang gai) housing with pre-determined residential location. It is found that better rail access not only provides sizeable happiness about public commuting to Beijing homeowners, but also affects their happiness in other residential realms. This finding adds to the evidence that public investment has an important role to play in influencing homeowners0964 living experience.
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Although Durkheim, Simmel, and other early social theorists posited causal links between urban life and individual despair or distrust, most contemporary analyses of subjective well-being attribute variations primarily to individual characteristics. However, China-檚 recent warp-speed urbanization requires a more dynamic and multi-level analysis that simultaneously models individual and geographic attributes. Using a representative survey conducted in 2011 of adults living in urban China, we find that, while age, marital status, and household wealth have an impact on life satisfaction, the characteristics of the surrounding county or city district, the size of the city, as well as the route by which an individual became an urban resident, often have an independent impact. Our results indicate that after controlling for individual socio-demographic characteristics, health status, and household wealth, the new urbanites (rural-to-urban migrants and in situ urbanized rural residents) who settle in cities with urban populations between 200,000 and 500,000 are more satisfied with their lives than those who settle in either larger or smaller cities. We argue that in China, where urban centers vary greatly in size, research on individual life satisfaction should factor in the characteristics of the urban location and the means by which individuals become urban residents. Our work suggests a new research and policy direction for small cities undergoing urbanization and their future trends.
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This paper presents a structural equation model of happiness, as influenced by inter alia perceived risk due to (i) intensity of exposure to polluted air, and (ii) hazard of pollutants. In addition, objective risk measured as proximity to the pollution source, is considered. The main finding is that both types of perceived risk negatively and significantly influence people's happiness, although in absolute terms, the total perceived risk effect is less than the (positive) effect of ability, measured by income and education. Other important determinants of happiness are family size, age, proximity to the pollution source, work environment and current health condition. Perceived risk due to intensity of exposure is influenced by environmental knowledge and proximity to the pollution source; perceived risk of hazard by ability, environmental knowledge, family size, family health experience and proximity to the pollution source. Environmental knowledge is found to be a function of age, ability and work environment. On the basis of the findings, we conclude that reducing air pollution is an important policy measure to ameliorate happiness. As environmental knowledge is an important determinant of perceived risk, reduction policies should be accompanied by disclosure of the state of air quality.