S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.27 No.1/2 (1998)
Socioeconomic Status and Perception of the Quality of Life in Korea
- Kim, Byoung-Kwan
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.27 No.2, pp. 1-15
- The goal of this study is to show the structure of perceptions of overall and domain-specific quality of life, and the causal relationship of such perceptions with objective and subjective socioeconomic status among contemporary Koreans. Data from a national-level survey conducted in 1996 were analyzed for this purpose.
Factor analyses show that life satisfaction is organized around the three latent factor: socioeconomic security, public provision system, and interpersonal relationships. Our explanatory models, which encompass both objective and subjective socioeconomic status measurements, explain life satisfaction measures much better than they explain happiness measures. Similarly, our models explain satisfaction with the dimension of socioeconomic security and public provision systems much better than they explain satisfaction with the dimension of interpersonal relationships. Throughout a set of causal analyses, asset value of current housing and household income consistently prove strong and significant determinants both of overall and domain-specific life satisfaction. Subjective socioeconomic situation variables-perception of income increase during the past 5 years, subjective social class position, and the degree of perceived equality in society-also consistently turned out to be strong determinants of overall and domain-specific life satisfaction. We conclude that these findings support both the need and relativity arguments about the relationship between socioeconomic status and the perceived quality of life.
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