Urban-Scale Social Responsibility in China

Funding: Samuel Tak Lee Real Estate Entrepreneurship Laboratory (STL) at MIT 2016-2018

“Social responsibility” has become a maxim of urban development in Chinese cities, yet there is no consistent set of actions that “social responsibility” must entail. The drive for “social responsibility” has not coalesced into coherent norms governing personal, corporate, and governmental actions. To better understand the behavioral constituents of social responsibility, we propose to measure and analyze behavioral perspectives on “urban-scale” social responsibility. Funded by MIT Samuel Tak Lee Real Estate Entrepreneurship Laboratory, this project surveys how urban residents in China perceive and enact socially responsible behavior across two urban policy domains: real estate and transportation. We will inventory the most essential features of social responsibility in these systems and assess how social categories and self-associations with the city affect residents’ beliefs about social responsibility and corresponding actions.

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Social responsibility has become a maxim of urban development in Chinese cities, yet there is no consistent set of actions that social responsibility must entail. The drive for social responsibility has not coalesced into coherent norms governing personal, corporate, and governmental actions. To better understand the behavioral constituents of social responsibility, in this research project funded by the STL MIT Real Estate Entrepreneurship Laboratory, we will measure and analyze behavioral perspectives on urban-scale social responsibility. This project investigates how urban residents in China perceive and enact socially responsible behavior across two urban policy domains: real estate and transportation. We will inventory essential features of social responsibility in these systems and assess how social categories and self-associations with the city affect resident beliefs about social responsibility and corresponding actions.

This investigation includes three major components. (1) We disentangle the complex relationship between socioeconomic status, self-association, and individual and institutional aspects of social trust, by analyzing the multi-year Chinese General Society Survey (from 2003 to 2013) with Structural Equation Model (SEM). We also measure the temporal trends in the value change of social capital in the Contemporary Chinese society. (2) We focus on the relationship between information and social responsibility. Based on a survey-based experiment, we examine how citizens access, trust, and respond to the information (relevant to real estate development, urban and transportation planning, development, and policies) provided by various stakeholders (e.g., government agencies, real estate developers, IT companies, local communities) via different channels (e.g., social media, open government portals, and traditional media outlets, etc.).  By investigating residents’ willingness to pay (WTP) for housing in response to the provided information, we quantify how individual perceptions and their degree of social trust influence their decision making in the real estate market. We also probe their WTP for true information in the housing market. (3) The ultimate goal of the research is to design an information integration framework and prototype to facilitate socially responsible urban development in Chinese cities.

 

 

Projects_Urban Scale Social Responsibility_People

Shan Jiang's picture
Postdoctoral Associate
Jinhua Zhao's picture
Edward H. and Joyce Linde Associate Professor