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Measuring Child Poverty by the Rothbarth Scales: Estimates for an Urban Chinese East Coast Province


  • Feridoon Koohi-Kamali
  • Yibin Liu


The commonly employed Engel method of poverty measurement, based on the budget share of food, is known to lead to a large overestimation of age-specific poverty. This paper applies an alternative model based on variations in adults' living standard that offers a particularly effective method of obtaining age-specific poverty measures, especially for children. However, only a few studies using this alternative model are available. This paper contributes to that small body of studies based on the latter model by applying it to two urban surveys from an east coast province of China for 2002 and 2009. We obtain measures of child poverty that have plausible values in size when compared to those reported for other studies using the same method. Our results indicate that the extremely high Chinese rates of economic growth during 2002-09 have had only a modest impact on child poverty, and an almost negligible impact on extreme child poverty. The paper points to rising urban inequality as the most likely explanation of the results obtained.

Suggested Citation

  • Feridoon Koohi-Kamali & Yibin Liu, 2015. "Measuring Child Poverty by the Rothbarth Scales: Estimates for an Urban Chinese East Coast Province," Emory Economics 1508, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  • Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:1508

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    1. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1986. "On Measuring Child Costs: With Applications to Poor Countries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 720-744, August.
    2. J. L. Nicholson, 1976. "Appraisal Of Different Methods Of Estimating Equivalence Scales And Their Results," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 22(1), pages 1-11, March.
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