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

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  • Björn Gustafsson
  • Li Shi
  • Hiroshi Sato

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

Abstract

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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  • Björn Gustafsson & Li Shi & Hiroshi Sato, 2004. "Can a subjective poverty line be applied to China? Assessing poverty among urban residents in 1999," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(8), pages 1089-1107.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:16:y:2004:i:8:p:1089-1107
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1127
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Knight, John & Song, Lina, 1999. "The Rural-Urban Divide: Economic Disparities and Interactions in China," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293309.
    2. Kilpatrick, Robert W, 1973. "The Income Elasticity of the Poverty Line," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(3), pages 327-332, August.
    3. John Gibson & Jikun Huang & Scott Rozelle, 2003. "Improving Estimates of Inequality and Poverty from Urban China's Household Income and Expenditure Survey," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(1), pages 53-68, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Khan, Azizur Rahman & Riskin, Carl, 2001. "Inequality and Poverty in China in the Age of Globalization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195136494.
    6. 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.
    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. 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.
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    10. John Knight & Li Shi, 2006. "Three Poverties in Urban China," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 367-387, August.
    11. 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 345-361, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Yin & Wan, Guanghua, 2006. "The impact of growth and inequality on rural poverty in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 694-712, December.
    2. Kafle, Kashi & Winter-Nelson, Alex & Goldsmith, Peter, 2016. "Does 25 cents more per day make a difference? The impact of livestock transfer and development in rural Zambia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 62-72.
    3. Meng, Xin & Gregory, Robert & Wang, Youjuan, 2005. "Poverty, inequality, and growth in urban China, 1986-2000," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 710-729, December.
    4. Knight, John & Gunatilaka, Ramani, 2012. "Income, aspirations and the Hedonic Treadmill in a poor society," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 67-81.
    5. Thesia I. Garner & Kathleen Short, 2005. "Economic Well-Being Based on Income, Consumer Expenditures and Personal Assessments of Minimal Needs," Working Papers 381, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    6. Glauben, Thomas & Herzfeld, Thomas & Rozelle, Scott & Wang, Xiaobing, 2012. "Persistent Poverty in Rural China: Where, Why, and How to Escape?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 784-795.
    7. Ravallion, Martin, 2012. "Poor, or just feeling poor ? on using subjective data in measuring poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5968, The World Bank.
    8. Quheng Deng & Bjorn Gustafsson, 2011. "A New Episode of Increased Urban Income Inequality in China," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 201116, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    9. Jehu-Appiah, Caroline & Aryeetey, Genevieve & Spaan, Ernst & Agyepong, Irene & Baltussen, Rob, 2010. "Efficiency, equity and feasibility of strategies to identify the poor: An application to premium exemptions under National Health Insurance in Ghana," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(2-3), pages 166-173, May.

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