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The Impact of Income Inequality on Subjective Environmental Pollution: Individual Evidence from China

by 1,2 and 1,2,*
1
Research Center of Open Economy, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China
2
School of Business, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Guy Hutton and Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8090; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158090
Received: 8 June 2021 / Revised: 14 July 2021 / Accepted: 27 July 2021 / Published: 30 July 2021
Numerous studies have investigated the relationship between income inequality and objective environmental pollution, but few focus on the nexus between income inequality and subjective environmental pollution (SEP). Using micro data from the Chinese General Society Survey (CGSS) in 2013 and official statistical data at the provincial level, this paper tests the impact of individual-level income inequality on subjective environmental pollution in China. The results show that individual-level income inequality has an inverted U-shape relationship with subjective environmental pollution, which indicates that increasing the income inequality at the individual level will first rise and then reduce their perceived subjective environmental pollution after reaching the peak. For about 84% of respondents, their subjective environmental pollution decreases with the increase of individual-level income inequality. Furthermore, the heterogeneity analyses show that the income inequality of urban residents and of the locals have an inverted U-shape effect on SEP, and the SEP of females and of individuals with positive environmental attitude are more sensitive to the effect of income inequality. Additionally, we find that subjective well-being plays a mediating role in the relation between income inequality and SEP. Individual income inequality decreases their self-reported well-being, and an increase in well-being has a negative effect on their subjectively perceived environmental quality. We also find non-television media exposures, such as newspaper, magazine, broadcasting, Internet, and mobile custom messages, will amplify the effect of individual-level income inequality on subjective environmental pollution. View Full-Text
Keywords: income inequality; relative deprivation in income; subjectively perceived environmental pollution; subjective well-being; media exposures income inequality; relative deprivation in income; subjectively perceived environmental pollution; subjective well-being; media exposures
MDPI and ACS Style

Li, B.; Xiao, D. The Impact of Income Inequality on Subjective Environmental Pollution: Individual Evidence from China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 8090. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158090

AMA Style

Li B, Xiao D. The Impact of Income Inequality on Subjective Environmental Pollution: Individual Evidence from China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(15):8090. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158090

Chicago/Turabian Style

Li, Baoxi, and De Xiao. 2021. "The Impact of Income Inequality on Subjective Environmental Pollution: Individual Evidence from China" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 15: 8090. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158090

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