The Well-Being Cost of China's Transition
Methods:Data for this study came from the 2008 Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey consisted of 16,199 older adults (average age: 87) from 22 provinces across China and the 2008 China Provincial Statistical Yearbook. The dependent variable “subjective well-being” was measured by self-reported quality of life on a five point ordinal scale from “1=very bad” to “5=very good”. The key independent variable “economic ownership restructuring” was measured by proportion of non-state-owned sector employees. Random intercept multilevel ordered logistic regression models were employed for this study.
Results:Results show that economic ownership restructuring is negatively associated with older adults’ self reported quality of life after adjusting for individual’s socio-demographic variables and health status, indicating that living in a more marketized province decreases cumulative odds of better life quality.
Conclusions and Implications: The study has found a detrimental effect of economic ownership restructuring on older people’s subjective well-being. Living in the context of China’s ever-changing market transition, older people who have spent most of their lives under socialism may find difficult to cope with the post-socialism social environment and may even be nostalgic for the pre-reform days. Study thus suggests that policies should be made to prevent older Chinese becoming frustrated achievers.