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Does the use of the internet enhance residents’ well-being?—Evidence from China

Yanbo Wu, Jinghan Meng, Qizhi Liu, Dachen Sheng, Xiaotong Wang, Yan Geng

Article ID: 1778
Vol 9, Issue 3, 2024, Article identifier:

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Using data from the 2018 Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS), this study empirically examined the impact of Chinese residents’ Internet use on their subjective well-being. The results show that Internet use significantly increases residents’ subjective well-being; the results of the marginal effect show that the increase in Internet use increases the probability of residents choosing “Relatively happy” and “Extremely happy”; further analysis shows that Internet use increases the probability of residents choosing “Relatively happy” and “Extremely happy” through the marginal effect. “Moreover, in the heterogeneity analysis, Internet use significantly increases the subjective happiness of middle-aged people aged 35–60, and increases the subjective happiness of low-education and low-income groups, while rural residents have higher subjective well-being from Internet use relative to urban residents. This study mitigates the estimation bias that may be caused by the sample self-selection problem through propensity score matching (PSM), and conducts a series of robustness tests on the empirical results. Therefore, the government should emphasize the role of Internet use in enhancing residents’ happiness and promoting the happiness effect of Internet use by further improving Internet infrastructure and upgrading residents’ Internet use skills.


internet use; resident; well-being; happiness; China

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