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Nonfarm activity and rural income inequality : a case study of two provinces in China

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  • Zhu, Nong
  • Luo, Xubei
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    Abstract

    Nonfarm activity plays an increasingly important role in rural household income. Based on data from the Living Standards Measurement Study in the provinces of Hebei and Liaoning, the authors study the distribution of nonfarm income in rural China. First, they assume nonfarm income as an exogenous transfer to total income to decompose the Gini index. Second, they assume nonfarm income as a potential substitute for farm income to take household choices into account and simulate household income. The results show that nonfarm activity reduces rural income inequality by raising the income of poor households to a larger extent than that of rich households. Improving rural infrastructure and implementing universal basic education are critical to build up the capacity of households (in particular, poor households) to participate in nonfarm activity. Strengthening the links between farm activity and nonfarm activity is essential to optimize the contribution of nonfarm activity to pro-poor rural economic development.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3811.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jan 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3811

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    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis; Services&Transfers to Poor; Poverty Diagnostics; Inequality;

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    Cited by:
    1. Kimhi, Ayal, 2009. "Land Reform and Farm-Household Income Inequality: The Case of Georgia," Discussion Papers 54159, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
    2. Gibson, John & Olivia, Susan, 2010. "The Effect of Infrastructure Access and Quality on Non-Farm Enterprises in Rural Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 717-726, May.
    3. WANG, Zuxiang & SMYTH, Russell & NG, Yew-Kwang, 2009. "A new ordered family of Lorenz curves with an application to measuring income inequality and poverty in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 218-235, June.

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