Perceived Happiness, Social Protest, and Social Stability

Yang SU

Using national representative samples the studies investigate the subjective wellbeing of the Chinese population in the last 20 years. The government critics tend to portray a picture of a decline of happiness in times of rampant inequality, while systematic data is lacking.

The studies are particularly interested in changes in the level of happiness in relation to the economic growth. Existing theories on the relationship and economic growth are inconclusive on the linkage of the two. The studies include three components: 1) The documentation of the trajectories of happiness; 2) Investigation of differing attribution of happiness, or its lack of across social groups; and 3) The implications on the propensity of protest and rebellion. 

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