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Happiness Economicd

In: Business and Management

Submitted By songshiyu1994
Words 4222
Pages 17
China’s New Challenge: Declining Happiness in a Growing Economy

By Shiyu Song

Dr. Nikolaev
Econ 385R 03J
21st November 2013

Abstract Since 1978, China has seen a sustainable rapid growth in its economy. China’s real GDP has already surpassed 7 trillion US dollars in 2011 in current dollars, and it has replaced Japan as the world’s second largest economy. People in China also have significant improvements in their standards of living and material life. However, my findings contradict the notion that an increase in income and standard of living will gain people happiness. My major findings show that income inequality and other major social problems, such as lack of religious belief and faith, political problems, and family burden have contributed to the decline of happiness among Chinese people. Other negative feelings emerging with the rapid economic growth, such as greed, interpersonal distrust and less compassion show adverse effects on Chinese happiness. I conclude the research by suggesting possible future researches for further studies.
1. Introduction After the Cultural Revolution ended in 1978, China launched a comprehensive reformation in its state controlled economy under the new leadership, Mr. Deng Xiaoping. Since then, China has gradually opened its door to the world and begun its transition into a market economy. (Chai, 1997) Over the past thirty years, China had the most enduring and rapid economic growth in the human history. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis, China’s average GDP growth is nearly 10 percent for the past 30 year. (FRED, 2013) In urban China, the average disposable income increase more than 71 times in the past three decades, from 343 Yuan in 1978 to 34565 Yuan in 2012; while the average disposable income in rural China increase more than 37 times, from 208 Yuan in1978 to 7917 Yuan in 2012. (National...

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