Journal article

Housing wealth and happiness in Urban China

Zhiming Cheng, Kushneel Prakash, Russell Smyth, Haining Wang

Cities | Elsevier | Published : 2020

Abstract

China has experienced rapid growth in inequality in housing wealth. We examine how housing wealth and housing wealth inequality are associated with happiness, drawing on panel data from three waves of the China Household Finance Survey (CHFS). We find that housing wealth and housing wealth inequality matter for happiness. More housing wealth increases happiness with diminishing returns to owning a second and third house. The relationship between housing wealth inequality and happiness depends on the reference group and the level of housing wealth inequality. An increase in housing wealth inequality among individuals of the same gender and similar age and education who live in the same city a..

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Grants

Awarded by University of New South Wales


Awarded by Major Program of Humanities and Social Science Key Research Base of the Ministry of Education of China


Funding Acknowledgements

The authors thank the three anonymous reviewers, Li Gan and Pu Hao for helpful comments. Earlier versions of this article were presented at A Decent Home for All: International Symposium on Housing in China in Chengdu, China; the Workshop on Sustainable Development, Prato, Italy; and the Monash Malaysia PhD Colloquium, at all of which participants provided helpful feedback. Zhiming Cheng thanks the support from the Scientia Fellowship at the University of New South WalesPS45957. Haining Wang thanks the support from the Major Program of Humanities and Social Science Key Research Base of the Ministry of Education of China (grant number:16JJD630011). The authors thank the China Household Finance Survey and Research Centre at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) for providing us with access to the data used in this paper. The findings and views reported in this paper, however, are those of the authors and should not be attributed to SUFE.