Environmental perceptions, happiness and pro-environmental actions in China

Ben Zhe Wang*, Zhiming Cheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


We use the 2010 and 2013 Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) data to examine the relationships between perceived severity of environmental issues, individual happiness and pro-environmental actions. We find that perceived severity of environmental issues has little, if not insignificant, correlation with happiness, but it has significant correlation with pro-environmental actions. We also find that the perceptions of both central and provincial governments’ efforts in addressing environmental issues are associated with individual happiness, willingness to pay for environment-friendly products and pro-environmental actions, no matter whether objective measures of provincial environmental issues and efforts are controlled for. And these correlations are robust across the two waves of CGSS. The findings imply that governments should not only allocate resources to addressing environmental issues but also improve communication in order to help citizens better understand governments’ efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-375
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number1
Early online date28 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • China
  • Environmental perception
  • Happiness
  • Pro-environmental action
  • Willingness to pay


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