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Poverty and Inequality and Social Policy in China

  • Bingqin Li
  • David Piachaud
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    Despite prolonged economic growth, poverty has become a more notable and noted feature of Chinese society. The paper examines three phases of development since the foundation of the People's Republic: the central planning era (1949 -1978); the pro-urban growth model (1978 - 1999); and more recent changes (1999 - 2004). For each phase the nature of the economic and social policies are described and the effects on poverty and inequality are examined. The limitations of a social policy that is subservient to the economic strategy are considered. The alternative of a model of social development based on the livelihood approach is analysed and its potential to reduce poverty and inequality are considered.

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    File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/cp/CASEpaper87.pdf
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    Paper provided by Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE in its series CASE Papers with number 087.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:cep:sticas:087
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/case/_new/publications/default.asp

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    1. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Transient Poverty in Postreform Rural China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 338-357, June.
    2. Gary H. Jefferson & Thomas G. Rawski, 2002. "China's emerging market for property rights: Theoretical and empirical perspectives," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 10(3), pages 586-617, November.
    3. Knight, J. & Lina, S., 1990. "The Determinants Of Urban Income Inequality In China," Economics Series Working Papers 9991, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
    5. Kanbur, Ravi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2001. "Fifty Years Of Regional Inequality In China: A Journey Through Revolution, Reform And Openness," Working Papers 7236, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    6. Roland Benabou, 1996. "Unequal Societies," NBER Working Papers 5583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Chang, Roberto, 1998. "Political party negotiations, income distribution, and endogenous growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 227-255, April.
    8. Loren Brandt & Dwayne Benjamin, 1999. "Markets and Inequality in Rural China: Parallels with the Past," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 292-295, May.
    9. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "How Did the World's Poorest Fare in the 1990s?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(3), pages 283-300, September.
    10. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Behavioral responses to risk in rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 23-49, October.
    12. Saint Paul, Gilles & Verdier, Thierry, 1997. " Power, Distributive Conflicts, and Multiple Growth Paths," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 155-68, July.
    13. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Are the poor less well-insured? Evidence on vulnerability to income risk in rural China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1863, The World Bank.
    14. Xin Meng, 2004. "Economic Restructuring and Income Inequality in Urban China," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(3), pages 357-379, 09.
    15. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
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