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Chinese Poverty: Assessing the Impact of Alternative Assumptions

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  • Sanjay G. Reddy

    (Department of Economics, Barnard College, Columbia University)

  • Camelia Minoiu

    (Department of Economics, Columbia University)

Abstract

This paper investigates how estimates of the extent and trend of income poverty in China between 1990 and 2001 vary as a result of alternative plausible assumptions concerning key parameters that influence the poverty line and estimated consumption levels. Our methodology focuses on the following sources of variation: alternative purchasing power parity conversion factors, alternative estimates of true per capita private incomes, alternative estimates of the share of income assumed to be consumed by the lower income groups, and alternative consumer price indices. We find that regardless of the assumptions we make within a reasonable range, a remarkable reduction in consumption poverty occurred in China during the 1990s. However, estimates of the extent of Chinese poverty in any year are greatly influenced by the assumptions made. China’s record of reducing aggregate deprivations is encouraging, but must be interpreted with care, especially in view of some recent evidence concerning possible increases in consumption poverty (especially in urban areas) and worsening nutrition.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/mic/papers/0509/0509002.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Microeconomics with number 0509002.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 07 Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0509002

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 29
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Keywords: Poverty; China; consumption distribution; sensitivity analysis;

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References

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  1. Sanjay G. Reddy & Camelia Minoiu, 2007. "Has World Poverty Really Fallen?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(3), pages 484-502, 09.
  2. Fang, Cheng & Zhang, Xiaobo & Fan, Shenggen, 2002. "Emergence of urban poverty and inequality in China: evidence from household survey," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 430-443, December.
  3. 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.
  4. Park, Albert & Wang, Sangui, 2001. "China's poverty statistics," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 384-398.
  5. Ruoen, Ren & Chen Kai, 1995. "China's GDP in U.S. dollars based on purchasing power parity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1415, The World Bank.
  6. Gibson, John & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott, 2001. "Improving Estimates Of Inequality And Poverty From Urban China'S Household Income And Expenditure Survey," Working Papers 11989, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  7. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The world distribution of income (estimated from individual country distributions)," Economics Working Papers 615, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 2002.
  8. Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion, 2004. "How Have the World's Poorest Fared since the Early 1980s?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 141-169.
  9. Jinjun Xue & Wei Zhong, 2003. "Unemployment, Poverty and Income Disparity in Urban China," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 383-405, December.
  10. Datt, Gaurav, 1998. "Computational tools for poverty measurement and analysis," FCND discussion papers 50, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  11. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 2003. "Measuring pro-poor growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 93-99, January.
  12. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2006. "The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and ... Convergence, Period," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 351-397, May.
  13. Khan, Azizur Rahman & Riskin, Carl, 2001. "Inequality and Poverty in China in the Age of Globalization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195136494, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Dwibedi, Jayanta & Chaudhuri, Sarbajit, 2007. "Foreign Capital, Return to Education and Child labour," MPRA Paper 2646, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Dwibedi, Jayanta & Chaudhuri, Sarbajit, 2014. "Agricultural Subsidy Policies Fail to Deal with Child Labour under Agricultural Dualism: What could be the Alternative Policies?," MPRA Paper 55411, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Lars Osberg & Jiaping Shao & Kuan Xu, 2009. "The growth of poor children in China 1991–2000: why food subsidies may matter," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(S1), pages S89-S108, April.
  4. Jean-Pierre Lachaud, 2005. "A la recherche de l’insaisissable dynamique de pauvreté au Burkina Faso. Une nouvelle évidence empirique," Documents de travail 117, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
  5. Jean-Louis Warnholz (QEH), . "Poverty Reduction for Profit? A Critical Examination of Business Opportunities at the Bottom of the Pyramid," QEH Working Papers qehwps160, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  6. Facundo Alvaredo & Leonardo Gasparini, 2013. "Recent Trends in Inequality and Poverty in Developing Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0151, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  7. Dwibedi, Jayanta & Chaudhuri, Sarbajit, 2011. "Poverty alleviation programs, FDI-led growth and child labour under agricultural dualism," MPRA Paper 29997, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Dwibedi, Jayanta & Chaudhuri, Sarbajit, 2007. "Globalization, consumerism and child labour," MPRA Paper 4370, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Baafi Antwi, Joseph & Oppong Kwakye, Francis, 2010. "Globalization and its influence on Economic Growth performance," MPRA Paper 24608, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Shi Li & Chuliang Luo & Terry Sicular, 2011. "Overview: Income Inequality and Poverty in China, 2002-2007," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 201110, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  11. Bjorn Gustafsson & Ximing Yue, 2012. "Rural people's perception of income adequacy in China," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 4(3), pages 264-280, October.

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