Feeling Good About the Iron Rice Bowl: Economic Sectors and Happiness in Post-Reform Urban China

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionWang, Jia, and Yu Xie. 2014. "Feeling Good About the Iron Rice Bowl: Economic Sectors and Happiness in Post-Reform Urban China." PSC Research Report No. 14-811. 1 2014.

Situated in China's market transition, this study examines the relationship between economic sectors and individuals' happiness in post-reform urban China. Using datasets from the Chinese General Social Surveys 2003, 2006 and 2008, we find that workers in the state sector enjoy a subjective premium in well-being – reporting significantly higher levels of happiness than their counterparts in the private sector. We also find that those remaining in the state sector report being significantly happier than do former state sector workers who moved into the private sector, whether the move was voluntary or involuntary. Sectoral disparity in the allocation of social welfare benefits serves as the primary nexus linking state-to-private mobility and happiness. Those who made voluntarily state-to-private moves experienced a trade-off in enjoying higher payoffs while losing job security, whereas involuntary downward mobility left long-term psychological scars on those who experienced layoffs or unemployment.

Country of focus: China.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Raghunathan et al. found behavioral treatment reduces urinary incontinence

Sarah Miller quoted in The New York Times

More News

Highlights

Total Survey Error: A Framework for High Quality Survey Design - a workshop by Brady West and Paul Schulz, Oct 23

Kowalski elected to the Board of Directors of the American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon)

More Highlights


Connect with PSC follow PSC on Twitter Like PSC on Facebook