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Can a subjective poverty line be applied to China? Assessing poverty among urban residents in 1999

  • Björn Gustafsson
  • Li Shi
  • Hiroshi Sato

    (Department of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan)

For the first time, subjective poverty line methodology is applied to China. The data refer to 12 cities for the year 1999. A major conclusion is that poverty counts, based on the subjective poverty line, is surprisingly close to those obtained when applying the methodology used when providing official estimates on poverty in urban China. However, the opinions of the general public can differ considerably across cities. Applying the poverty line we find substantial variation across cities in the extent of poverty. Poverty status in urban China is very much related to education level of the household, to life cycle, as well as to labour market status. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 16 (2004)
Issue (Month): 8 ()
Pages: 1089-1107

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:16:y:2004:i:8:p:1089-1107
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  1. John Gibson & Jikun Huang & Scott Rozelle, 2002. "Improving Estimates of Inequality and Poverty From Urban China’s Household Income and Expenditure Survey," Working Papers in Economics 02/01, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  2. John Knight & Li Shi, 2006. "Three Poverties in Urban China," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 367-387, 08.
  3. Arie Kapteyn & Peter Kooreman & Rob Willemse, 1988. "Some Methodological Issues in the Implementation of Subjective Poverty Definitions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(2), pages 222-242.
  4. Knight, John & Song, Lina, 1999. "The Rural-Urban Divide: Economic Disparities and Interactions in China," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293309.
  5. Menno Pradhan & Martin Ravallion, 2000. "Measuring Poverty Using Qualitative Perceptions Of Consumption Adequacy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 462-471, August.
  6. Khan, Azizur Rahman & Riskin, Carl, 2001. "Inequality and Poverty in China in the Age of Globalization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195136494.
  7. 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.
  8. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav & van de Walle, Dominique, 1991. "Quantifying Absolute Poverty in the Developing World," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(4), pages 345-61, December.
  9. Park, Albert & Wang, Sangui, 2001. "China's poverty statistics," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 384-398.
  10. Diane Colasanto & Arie Kapteyn & Jacques van der Gaag, 1984. "Two Subjective Definitions of Poverty: Results from the Wisconsin Basic Needs Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(1), pages 127-138.
  11. Kilpatrick, Robert W, 1973. "The Income Elasticity of the Poverty Line," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(3), pages 327-32, August.
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