The Dynamics of Online Activities and Its Impact on Well-Being in Urban China

Yinxuan Huang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Using data from the China Family Panel Studies, this study examines the socioeconomic characteristics of Internet users, as well as the relationships between the dynamics of different forms of online activities and the subjective well-being of urbanites and rural migrants in urban China. The study finds that online behavior may clearly reflect differences in individuals’ personal traits and socioeconomic positions. Patterns of the association between online activities and subjective well-being tend to differ among rural migrants and urbanites, especially in terms of depression. A difference-in-differences model is employed to estimate the impact of intensified engagement in online activities on depression and life satisfaction from 2010 to 2016. The results show that individuals who exhibited increased frequency of online entertainment appeared to be less depressed and more satisfied with their lives. Spending more time on online social networking has a similar impact on rural migrants, but not on urbanites. These findings suggest that the rapid development of urban China’s online community has important implications for residents’ subjective well-being.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSocial Sciences
    Issue number7
    Early online date25 Jun 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • China; Internet; well-being; hukou; migrant

    Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

    • Manchester Urban Institute


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