Economic development and quality of life : the case of Taiwan
Wang, Thomas C. (Student of sociology)
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This thesis is a study of perceptions of the impact of economic development on quality of life in Taiwan. Specifically, it investigates the impact of gender, education, age, and area of residence on perceptions of the quality of life. This study is based on a secondary analysis of The Taiwan Area Research Group on Theological Issues (TARGTI) data, a 1980 survey of Taiwanese on the attitudes of economic development and quality of life. TARGTI developed 49 items concerned with the relationship between economic development and increases or deterioration in quality of life. A factor analysis of responses of 1400 people displays five factors regarding the impact of economic development on quality of life in individual, environment, religion, traditional values, and cultural spheres. Factor scales were constructed to measure each of the factors. Using MANOVA, four different models were tested to tease out the individual and interaction effects of area of residence, education, age, and sex -- forming a set of correlated predictors for the overall measure of quality of life. The results indicate reliable differences in perceptions of quality of life due to area of residence, level of education, level of education by area of residence, and level of education by age of respondent. The main findings of the series of univariate analysis of perceptions of the five individual dimensions of quality of life reveal: (1) Rural residents are most likely to perceive the deleterious effects of economic development on the environment, and urban residents are least likely to do so. (2) Level of education is a very influential factor. The least educated people perceived less effect on individual benefits and traditional values from economic development, while they perceived more impact on physical and psychological environment and religion. (3) Among college educated, older people and rural residents perceived more positive impact on cultural and individual benefits from economic development.