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The pattern of growth and poverty reduction in China

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  • Montalvo, Jose G.
  • Ravallion, Martin

Abstract

China has seen a huge reduction in the incidence of extreme poverty since the economic reforms that started in the late 1970s. Yet, the growth process has been highly uneven across sectors and regions. The paper tests whether the pattern of China´s growth mattered to poverty reduction using a new provincial panel data set constructed for this purpose. The econometric tests support the view that the primary sector (mainly agriculture) has been the main driving force in poverty reduction over the period since 1980. It was the sectoral unevenness in the growth process, rather than its geographic unevenness, that handicapped poverty reduction. Yes, China has had great success in reducing poverty through economic growth, but this happened despite the unevenness in its sectoral pattern of growth. The idea of a trade-off between these sectors in terms of overall progress against poverty in China turns out to be a moot point, given how little evidence there is of any poverty impact of non-primary sector growth, controlling for primary-sector growth. While the non-primary sectors were key drivers of aggregate growth, it was the primary sector that did the heavy lifting against poverty.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5069.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5069

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Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction; Achieving Shared Growth; Regional Economic Development; Subnational Economic Development;

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References

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  1. Derek D. Headey, 2008. "National policies and the sectoral pattern of economic growth," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 38(3), pages 287-299, 05.
  2. Loayza, Norman V. & Raddatz, Claudio, 2006. "The composition of growth matters for poverty alleviation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4077, The World Bank.
  3. Louis Kuijs & Tao Wang, 2006. "China's Pattern of Growth: Moving to Sustainability and Reducing Inequality," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 14(1), pages 1-14.
  4. Bezemer, Dirk & Headey, Derek, 2008. "Agriculture, Development, and Urban Bias," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1342-1364, August.
  5. Ravallion, Martin & Shaohua Chen, 1996. "What can new survey data tell us about recent changes in distribution and poverty?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1694, The World Bank.
  6. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Can high-inequality developing countries escape absolute poverty?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1775, The World Bank.
  7. Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Growth, Inequality and Poverty: Looking Beyond Averages," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1803-1815, November.
  8. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav, 1996. "How Important to India's Poor Is the Sectoral Composition of Economic Growth?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 1-25, January.
  9. Kraay, Aart, 2006. "When is growth pro-poor? Evidence from a panel of countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 198-227, June.
  10. Gaurav Datt & Martin Ravallion, 2002. "Is India's Economic Growth Leaving the Poor Behind?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 89-108, Summer.
  11. Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Growth and poverty: Evidence for developing countries in the 1980s," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 411-417, June.
  12. Chaudhuri, Shubham & Ravallion, Martin, 2006. "Partially awakened giants : uneven growth in China and India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4069, The World Bank.
  13. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav, 2002. "Why has economic growth been more pro-poor in some states of India than others?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 381-400, August.
  14. Richard Tiffin & Xavier Irz, 2006. "Is agriculture the engine of growth?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(1), pages 79-89, 07.
  15. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1992. "Growth and redistribution components of changes in poverty measures : A decomposition with applications to Brazil and India in the 1980s," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 275-295, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christiaensen, Luc J.M. & Todo, Yasuyuki, 2009. "Poverty Reduction during the Rural-Urban Transformation - The Role of the Missing Middle," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51467, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Begum, Syeda Shahanara & Deng, Quheng & Gustafsson, Björn, 2012. "Economic growth and child poverty reduction in Bangladesh and China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 73-85.
  3. Ivanic, Maros & Martin, William J., 2010. "Promoting global agricultural growth and poverty reduction," 114th Seminar, April 15-16, 2010, Berlin, Germany 61098, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Chaudhuri, Sarbajit & Banerjee, Dibyendu, 2010. "FDI in agricultural land, welfare and unemployment in a developing economy," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 229-239, December.
  5. Katsushi Imai & Jin You, 2012. "Poverty Dynamics of Households in Rural China: Identifying Multiple Pathways for Poverty Transition," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1203, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  6. Tsun Se Cheong & Yanrui Wu, 2013. "Globalization and Regional Inequality," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 13-10, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  7. World Bank, 2012. "Liberia Poverty Note : Tracking the Dimensions of Poverty," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12320, The World Bank.
  8. Heshmati, Almas & Kim, Jungsuk, 2014. "A Survey of the Role of Fiscal Policy in Addressing Income Inequality, Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 8119, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Katsushi S. Imai & Jing You, 2013. "Poverty Dynamics of Households in Rural China," Discussion Paper Series DP2013-16, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, revised Jun 2013.
  10. Rada, Codrina & von Arnim, Rudiger, 2012. "Structural transformation in China and India: A note on macroeconomic policies," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 264-275.

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