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Measuring Rural Poverty in China: a Case Study Approach

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  • Xiuqing Wang
  • Shujie Yao
  • Juan Liu
  • Xian Xin
  • Xiumei Liu
  • Wenjuan Ren

Abstract

This paper measures rural poverty in Hubei Province and Inner Mongolia in China. The poverty lines we derived by Ravallion's method differ from the official Chinese poverty lines. The official pan-country poverty line underestimates rural poverty in Hubei Province and overestimates rural poverty in Inner Mongolia. Poverty determinants are estimated by Logit as well as Probit models. The study notes that factors such as living in a mountainous area, lack of better irrigation conditions, a large family size, few fixed assets, few land owned and sole dependence on agriculture as a livelihood source would make a rural household more vulnerable to poverty. On the other hand, a rural household whose members are either better educated or trained laborers would statistically be less poor. The growth-redistribution decomposition reveals that for all the three FGT indexes in Hubei province, income growth contributed much to the alleviation of poverty, while the redistribution or inequality effects counteracted the growth effects and worsened poverty. The poverty incidence decomposition results reveal that about one third of the growth effects had been counteracted by the redistribution effects. This implies that future anti-poverty programs should pay more attention to solving the inequality problem in China. Poverty dominance analysis also helps us better understand the poverty situation. It reveals that rural poverty in Inner Mongolia is more severe than that in Hubei, and that poverty incidence in Hubei has lessened from 1997 to 2003, which are the same findings as those drawn from deriving poverty lines.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by PEP-PMMA in its series Working Papers PMMA with number 2007-27.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:pmmacr:2007-27

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Keywords: Rural Poverty Line; Poverty Determinants; Growth Redistribution Decomposition; Poverty Dominance; China;

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  1. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Are there dynamic gains from a poor-area development program?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 65-85, January.
  2. Yao, Shujie, 2000. "Economic Development and Poverty Reduction in China over 20 Years of Reforms," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(3), pages 447-74, April.
  3. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Household welfare impacts of China's accession to the World Trade Organization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3040, The World Bank.
  4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  5. Ravallion, Martin & Shaohua Chen, 2004. "China's (uneven) progress against poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3408, The World Bank.
  6. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Transient Poverty in Postreform Rural China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 338-357, June.
  7. Zheng, Buhong, 2000. " Poverty Orderings," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 427-66, September.
  8. Jyotsna Jalan & Martin Ravallion, 1999. "China's Lagging Poor Areas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 301-305, May.
  9. Rozelle, Scott & Park, Albert & Benziger, Vincent & Changqing Ren, 1998. "Targeted poverty investments and economic growth in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(12), pages 2137-2151, December.
  10. Jyotsna Jalan & Martin Ravallion, 2000. "Is transient poverty different? Evidence for rural China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 82-99.
  11. Khan, Azizur Rahman & Riskin, Carl, 2001. "Inequality and Poverty in China in the Age of Globalization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195136494.
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