Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Asia: A Quantile Regression Approach

Abstract

This paper aimed to identify the determinants of life satisfaction in the four regions of Asia. Because the determinants of life satisfaction may differ between people who are at a different level of life satisfaction, quantile regression was used to yield more accurate inferences. An earlier study using ordinary least square regression found that the standard of living, marital status, education and the role of government were the most significant determinants of life satisfaction in Asia. Results from the present study also show that these three factors were significant determinants of life satisfaction, but their effects varied considerably across the quantiles. Gender and age were significant determinants of life satisfaction only in Central & West Asia, but the education factor was relatively less significant here as compared to the other regions. In all the four Asia regions, the income variable was a less significant predictor of life satisfaction as compared to the standard of living. This paper further found that employment was more influential in South and Southeast Asia as compared to the other two regions. The effects of these variables varied substantially across the quantiles. Some of these variables had a positive effect on life satisfaction for some quantiles, but a negative effect for other quantiles.

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Funding

Funding was provided by Population Studies Unit, University of Malaya.

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Correspondence to Yee Ting Ngoo.

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Appendices

Appendix 1

It presents the income grouping, literacy rate and total fertility rate of countries in the four regionss in this analysis. The countries in East Asia are from upper-middle and high income but most countries in South Asia are from lower-middle and low income groups, as classified by the by Asia Development Bank. Most Asian countries except a few in South Asia and Central and West Asia, have high literacy rate. While East Asian countries have ultra-low fertility, a few countries in Central & West Asia still have total fertility rate in excess of three children per woman. Most countries in the other two regions have close to replacement-level fertility (Table 3).

Table 3 List of countries for four Asia regions on income group, literacy rate and total fertility rate

Appendix 2

See Table 4.

Table 4 Coding of explanatory variables

Appendix 3

See Table 5.

Table 5 Diagnostic test results (Heteroskedasticity test and Wald test)

Appendix 4

See Table 6.

Table 6 Comparison results of OLS and 2SLS

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Ngoo, Y.T., Tan, E.C. & Tey, N.P. Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Asia: A Quantile Regression Approach. J Happiness Stud 22, 907–926 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-020-00257-1

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Keywords

  • Quantile regression
  • Life satisfaction
  • Asia
  • Determinants