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Poverty and inequality and social policy in China

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  • Bingqin Li
  • David Piachaud
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    Abstract

    Despite prolonged economic growth, poverty has become a more notable and noted feature of Chinese society. The paper examines three phases of development since the foundation of the People’s Republic: the central planning era (1949 –1978); the pro-urban growth model (1978 – 1999); and more recent changes (1999 – 2004). For each phase the nature of the economic and social policies are described and the effects on poverty and inequality are examined. The limitations of a social policy that is subservient to the economic strategy are considered. The alternative of a model of social development based on the livelihood approach is analysed and its potential to reduce poverty and inequality are considered.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6303/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 6303.

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    Length: 49 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6303

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    Related research

    Keywords: poverty; inequality; social policy; China; livelihoods; social development;

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    References

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    1. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Behavioral responses to risk in rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 23-49, October.
    2. Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Shaohua Chen & Ravallion, Martin, 2000. "How did the world's poorest fare in the 1990s ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2409, The World Bank.
    4. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
    5. Kanbur, Ravi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2001. "Fifty Years of Regional Inequality in China: A Journey through Revolution, Reform and Openness," CEPR Discussion Papers 2887, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Roberto Chang, 1995. "Political party negotiations, income distribution, and endogenous growth," Working Paper 95-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
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    8. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Transient Poverty in Postreform Rural China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 338-357, June.
    9. Knight, J. & Lina, S., 1990. "The Determinants Of Urban Income Inequality In China," Economics Series Working Papers 9991, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    10. Roland Benabou, 1996. "Unequal Societies," NBER Working Papers 5583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    12. Saint Paul, Gilles & Verdier, Thierry, 1997. " Power, Distributive Conflicts, and Multiple Growth Paths," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 155-68, July.
    13. Xin Meng, 2004. "Economic Restructuring and Income Inequality in Urban China," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(3), pages 357-379, 09.
    14. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Are the poor less well insured? Evidence on vulnerability to income risk in rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 61-81, February.
    15. Gary H. Jefferson & Thomas G. Rawski, 2002. "China's emerging market for property rights: Theoretical and empirical perspectives," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 10(3), pages 586-617, November.
    16. Kanbur, Ravi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 1999. "Which Regional Inequality? The Evolution of Rural-Urban and Inland-Coastal Inequality in China from 1983 to 1995," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 686-701, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Chambers, Dustin & Wu, Ying & Yao, Hong, 2008. "The impact of past growth on poverty in Chinese provinces," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 348-357, August.
    2. Edward, Peter, 2006. "Examining Inequality: Who Really Benefits from Global Growth?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1667-1695, October.

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