Economic Growth and Happiness

John Knight

in China's Remarkable Economic Growth

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199698691
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739118 | DOI:
Economic Growth and Happiness

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This chapter examines whether economic growth raise happiness in China. In all three data sets — the rural, the urban, and the migrant — current income has a positive and significant effect on happiness. However, in none of these sub-samples is the coefficient on current income substantively large. Clearly, there are other, more important, determinants of individual subjective well-being. This pure effect of individual income level is further weakened by the fact that economic growth will tend to raise incomes generally. The higher the incomes to which people aspire, the lower is their subjective well-being. Aspirations are influenced by peoples' reference groups and reference times.

Keywords: happiness; economic growth; economic development; individual income

Chapter.  10557 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management

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