Home relocation and changes in satisfaction with residence, travel and life: a study of Beijing

  • Fenglong Wang

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Home relocation has far-reaching effects on both urban structure and individuals’ quality of life. While a large volume of studies have examined the determinants of home relocation, only limited attention has been paid to the outcomes of home relocation. Even less scholarly effort has been devoted to the impacts of home relocation on the movers in terms of change in their domain and life satisfaction. This study aims to explore this issue by focusing on the two following research questions: (1) has home relocation led to improvement in residential, travel and life satisfaction? (2) what contributes to the change in residential, travel and life satisfaction after move? Using a two-wave survey of residents who moved their homes in Beijing, this dissertation investigates the patterns of change in the movers’ residential, travel and life satisfaction and explores the determinants of change in satisfaction based on a series of multilevel SEM models. The specific variables applied to explain change in satisfaction after move are derived from the existing literature on residential, travel and life satisfaction. The results show a positive and significant increase in the average level of residential, travel and life satisfaction after move, suggesting that home relocation has significant and positive effects on the mover’s quality of life. The change in satisfaction after move is mainly determined by change in residential environment, change in travel conditions, motivations to move and some personal and household socioeconomics. Specifically, residential satisfaction change is mainly explained by housing tenure shift and change in the perceived neighborhood environment including physical design, safety, social composition, etc.. Travel satisfaction change is mainly predicted by change in daily travel patterns and perceived neighborhood environment. The objective indicators of change in neighborhood accessibility and walkability only exert marginal effects on travel satisfaction change. Life satisfaction change is mainly determined by change in perceived neighborhood environment and daily activity patterns, which influence life satisfaction change both directly and indirectly through changes in residential and travel satisfaction. This dissertation not only enriches the literature of residential mobility and the wellbeing studies, but also has important implications for policy-makers to enhance residents’ quality of life. To fully interpret how home relocation influences the movers, more sophisticated surveys covering more life domains and longer time series are still needed in future studies. KEYWORDS: Residential satisfaction, Travel satisfaction, Life satisfaction, Subjective wellbeing, Home relocation, Beijing
Date of Award25 Feb 2015
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorDonggen WANG (Supervisor)

User-Defined Keywords

  • 21st century
  • Beijing
  • China
  • Housing
  • Psychological aspects
  • Relocation (Housing)
  • Satisfaction
  • Social conditions
  • Travel
  • Beijing (China)

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