Social Indicators Research

, Volume 118, Issue 3, pp 1249–1267 | Cite as

Influence of Prudential Value on the Subjective Well-Being of Chinese Urban–Rural Residents

  • Ying Liang
  • Peigang WangEmail author


The perspective of previous studies on subjective well-being (SWB) is mainly in terms of utility, demand and capacity, among others. However, the understanding of SWB is not sufficiently comprehensive and systematic. In this study, we used survey data from Chinese General Social Survey and studied the SWB of Chinese urban–rural residents from the perspective of prudential value, an integrated prudential value perspective that is “value”-oriented, multidimensional, social, inter-subjective, and interdisciplinary. We also made a scientific and effective layered control for SWB variables. Different types of variables were progressively overlaid to establish five related comparability study models. Linear regression analysis method was used to obtain reliable results. We then derived substantive conclusions based on the differences in SWB (i.e., degree of life satisfaction and life happiness) of China urban–rural residents. We found that the lack of education, medical, employment and other related social security systems significantly influences the degree of life satisfaction and happiness of urban–rural residents rather than differences between urban–rural households. The lack of basic systems prevented residents from fulfilling their basic needs and undermined their own sense of dignity. As long as the socio-economic status and prudential recognition of urban–rural residents remain under equal conditions, happiness between urban and rural residents does not differ significantly. Therefore, to better solve the current social issues and further improve the quality of life of Chinese residents, we propose suggestions for government on the policies that coordinate urban and rural development.


Urban and rural residents Subjective well-being Prudential value 



This article is supported in part by the Trans-Century Training Program Foundation for Talents of Humanities and Social Science by the State Education Commission (NCET-11-0228), Humanity and Social Science Foundation of the Ministry of Education (No. 10YJC840069). We also thank Suqin Li, Wei Ma and Peiyi Lu for making some contributions for translation and correcting.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Work and Social Policy, School of Social and Behavioral SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Sociology, Global Health InstituteWuhan UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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