Digital literacy and subjective happiness of low-income groups: Evidence from rural China

Frontiers in Psychology 13:1045187 (2022)
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Abstract

Improvements of the happiness of the rural population are an essential sign of the effectiveness of relative poverty governance. In the context of today’s digital economy, assessing the relationship between digital literacy and the subjective happiness of rural low-income groups is of great practicality. Based on data from China Family Panel Studies, the effect of digital literacy on the subjective well-being of rural low-income groups was empirically tested. A significant happiness effect of digital literacy on rural low-income groups was found. Digital literacy promotes the subjective happiness of rural low-income groups through income increase and consumption growth effects. The observed happiness effect is heterogeneous among different characteristic groups, and digital literacy significantly positively impacts the subjective happiness of rural low-income groups. Decomposition of subjective happiness into life satisfaction and job satisfaction shows that digital literacy significantly positively affects the job and life satisfaction of rural low-income groups. This paper demonstrates that digital literacy induces a practical happiness effect. To further strengthen the subjective welfare effect of digital literacy in the construction of digital villages, the government should focus on cultivating digital literacy among low-income groups from the demand side. The construction of digital infrastructure should be actively promoted from the supply side.

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Chang Liu
Shanghai JiaoTong University

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