Social Indicators Research

, Volume 132, Issue 1, pp 25–45 | Cite as

Regional Heterogeneity of Life Satisfaction in Urban China: Evidence from Hierarchical Ordered Logit Analysis

  • Shaojie Zhou
  • Xiaohua YuEmail author


Given sheer geographic size and unequal regional development, common wisdom may attribute the heterogeneity of individual subjective wellbeing largely to regional disparity in China. Using a hierarchical ordered logit model and the Subjective Survey for Chinese Livelihood Index in 2012, this study however finds that regional factors only account for 3.7 % of total variance of individual subjective wellbeing in urban China. It implies that regional differences are not important for explaining individual happiness though some regional variables are statistically significant. Correspondingly, the Chinese governments should make policies down to individual level to promote people's life satisfaction. Other findings on income and social demographical variables are consistent with the current studies.


Urban China Life satisfaction Regional disparity Hierarchical ordered logit model 



The authors would like to thank China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) for providing the data used in this paper, and three anonymous reviewers and Dr. Filomena Maggino for the constructive comments. The author acknowledges the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project No. 71273006) and the Independent Scientific Research Fund of Tsinghua University. Content of this paper is solely the responsibility of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public Policy and ManagementTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Economics and ManagementJilin Agricultural UniversityJilinChina
  3. 3.Courant Research Centre ‘Poverty, Equity and Growth’University of GoettingenGoettingenGermany

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