The Impact of Government Size on Chinese Elders’ Life Satisfaction: 1998–2008

  • Song Gao
  • Xiangyi MengEmail author
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 57)


Why are Chinese lagging behind in their reported levels of life satisfaction during a period of spectacular economic growth? This paper endeavors to investigate the impacts of government size on Chinese individuals’ reported life satisfaction levels. We apply ordered probit regressions to a unique data set of five rounds of surveys on Chinese individuals between 1998 and 2008, which interviews over 10,000 individuals who are located in 22 provinces.

In general we find strong evidence that government size has a detrimental impact on elders’ life satisfaction, in particular for rich residents and in more developed regions. We also find that GDP brings uneven outcomes to the population, with poor residents and those in rural and less developed regions being adversely affected, whilst rich residents enjoy the fruits of higher GDP per capita.


Life satisfaction Government size GDP Medical expenditure China 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.China Academy of Public Finance and PolicyThe Central University of Finance and EconomicsHaidian District, BeijingChina

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