Journal of Housing and the Built Environment

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 313–329 | Cite as

Housing quality and its determinants in rural China: a structural equation model analysis

  • Honghao RenEmail author
  • Nannan Yuan
  • Huimin Hu


Rural residents spend more money on housing than on any other item in their lifetimes in China and housing quality is a crucial determinant of their subjective well-being. Based on the 2010 wave of the China General Social Survey, this paper investigates housing quality and its determinants in rural China. Since housing quality is multi-dimensional and indicated by housing size, construction material, tap water, indoor toilet and indoor kitchen, this paper takes housing quality as a latent variable and applies a structural equation model. Results show that housing inequality and poverty exist in rural China, especially in the central and inland regions. In addition, results suggest that household income, social network, communist party membership, and human capital have significant positive impacts on rural residents’ housing quality while construction cost has negative impacts. Housing-improvement programs should be implemented to assist the poor in improving housing quality.


Housing quality Rural China Latent variable Structural equation model 



The authors thank the Department of Sociology of Renmin University of China and the Social Science Division of Hong Kong Science and Technology University for providing data. The views expressed herein are the authors’ own.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, School of Humanities, Economics and LawNorthwestern Polytechnical UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Department of Investment, School of FinanceZhongnan University of Economics and LawWuhanChina
  3. 3.Economic Research InstitutePeking UniversityBeijingChina

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