Homeownership and Subjective Wellbeing in Urban China: Does Owning a House Make You Happier?
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This paper examines the effect of homeownership status on individual subjective wellbeing indicators in urban China using a large nationally representative dataset. It is the first to gauge the relationship between homeownership and individual subjective wellbeing in the setting of China and is also among the few empirical studies concerning developing countries. The results show that the homeownership status does have a strong positive effect on both one’s housing satisfaction and overall happiness in urban China. Even after controlling for housing satisfaction in the equation, the homeownership status still positively affects one’s overall happiness, suggesting that the homeownership status might also contribute to other possible aspects of life satisfaction except for housing satisfaction. In addition, in terms of housing satisfaction, females seem to value much more on owning a house than males, while the subjective benefits of owing a house in large cities seem to be much smaller than in small cities.
KeywordsHappiness Housing Ordered probit model China
I would like to thank valuable comments and suggestions from one anonymous referee. I acknowledge the Department of Sociology of Renmin University of China and the Survey Research Centre of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for providing the survey data. This study is under the financial support from National Natural Science Foundation of China (No: 71003005; 71133003).
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