How useful Is the Chinese Official Rural Poverty Line in Poverty Estimates?
We in this paper argue that the Chinese official poverty line substantially misestimates theactual rural poverty situations. We recalculate the rural poverty lines following Ravallion (1994) with rural household survey data of China¡¯s two provinces, Hubei and Inner Mongolia. The results indicate that the poverty lines derived from a pan-country level food bundle cannot fully reflect the regional poverty situation. Merely adjusting rural poverty lines at the country-level CPI without fully considering changes in the structure of food consumption and food prices with respect to different regions may also lead to wrong poverty estimates.
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