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Chinese Poverty: Assessing the Impact of Alternative Assumptions

Author

Listed:
  • Sanjay G. Reddy

    () (Dept. of Economics, Barnard College, Columbia University)

  • Camelia Minoiu

    () (Dept. of Economics and Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Columbia University)

Abstract

This Working Paper investigates how estimates of the extent and trend of consumption poverty in China between 1990 and 2001 vary as a result of alternative plausible assumptions concerning the poverty line and estimated levels of consumption. The exercise is motivated by the existence of considerable uncertainty about the appropriate poverty lines to apply and the level and distribution of resources in China. Our methodology focuses on the following sources of variation: alternative purchasing power parity conversion factors (used to convert an international poverty line), alternative estimates of the level and distribution of private incomes, alternative estimates of the propensity to consume of lower income groups, and alternative consumer price indices. It is widely believed that substantial poverty reduction took place in China in the 1990s, and we find this conclusion to be robust to the choice of assumptions. Moreover, there is no evidence that the rate of poverty reduction declined over time. China?s record of reducing consumption poverty has been dramatic. However, estimates of the extent of Chinese poverty in any year are greatly influenced by the assumptions made. The choice among these estimates is likely to have large implications for the perceived extent and trend of world poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Sanjay G. Reddy & Camelia Minoiu, 2006. "Chinese Poverty: Assessing the Impact of Alternative Assumptions," Working Papers 25, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  • Handle: RePEc:ipc:wpaper:25
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Zhuo & Eastwood, David B. & Yen, Steven T., 2007. "A decade's story of childhood malnutrition inequality in China: Where you live does matter," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 139-154.
    2. Lars Osberg & Jiaping Shao & Kuan Xu, 2009. "The growth of poor children in China 1991–2000: why food subsidies may matter," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(S1), pages 89-108, April.
    3. Baafi Antwi, Joseph & Oppong Kwakye, Francis, 2010. "Globalization and its influence on Economic Growth performance," MPRA Paper 24608, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Dwibedi, Jayanta & Chaudhuri, Sarbajit, 2007. "Globalization, consumerism and child labour," MPRA Paper 4370, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Bjorn Gustafsson & Ximing Yue, 2012. "Rural people's perception of income adequacy in China," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 4(3), pages 264-280, August.
    6. Dwibedi, Jayanta Kumar & Chaudhuri, Sarbajit, 2014. "Agricultural subsidy policies fail to deal with child labour under agricultural dualism: What could be the alternative policies?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 277-291.
    7. Dwibedi, Jayanta Kumar & Chaudhuri, Sarbajit, 2010. "Foreign capital, return to education and child labour," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 278-286, April.
    8. Jean-Louis Warnholz (QEH), "undated". "Poverty Reduction for Profit? A Critical Examination of Business Opportunities at the Bottom of the Pyramid," QEH Working Papers qehwps160, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    9. Jean-Pierre Lachaud, 2005. "A la recherche de l’insaisissable dynamique de pauvreté au Burkina Faso. Une nouvelle évidence empirique," Documents de travail 117, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
    10. Shi Li & Chuliang Luo & Terry Sicular, 2011. "Overview: Income Inequality and Poverty in China, 2002-2007," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 201110, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    11. Facundo Alvaredo & Leonardo Gasparini, 2013. "Recent Trends in Inequality and Poverty in Developing Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0151, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    12. Dwibedi, Jayanta & Chaudhuri, Sarbajit, 2011. "Poverty alleviation programs, FDI-led growth and child labour under agricultural dualism," MPRA Paper 29997, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Charlotte Guénard & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps, 2010. "Measuring Inequalities: Do Household Surveys Paint A Realistic Picture?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(3), pages 519-538, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumption poverty; China; Sensitivity analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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