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Economic Growth and Child Poverty Reduction in Bangladesh and China


  • Begum, Syeda Shahanara

    () (University of Gothenburg)

  • Deng, Quheng

    () (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

  • Gustafsson, Björn Anders

    () (University of Gothenburg)


This paper analyzes child poverty in Bangladesh and China during periods of rapid economic growth in both countries. It compares the extent as well as profile of child poverty in both countries. Comparisons on the extent of child poverty, over time and across countries, are made using a decomposition framework attributing child poverty differences to differences in the three components mean child income, demographic circumstances and the distribution of child income. Child poverty is found to be more extensive in Bangladesh than in China, and is very much a problem for rural children in both countries. The results show that economic growth can reduce child poverty but does not do so always. For understanding changes over time and across countries in the extent of child poverty, it can be necessary to also consider changes/differences in the distribution of child income as well as in the demographic composition.

Suggested Citation

  • Begum, Syeda Shahanara & Deng, Quheng & Gustafsson, Björn Anders, 2011. "Economic Growth and Child Poverty Reduction in Bangladesh and China," IZA Discussion Papers 5929, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5929

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Knight, John & Song, Lina, 1999. "The Rural-Urban Divide: Economic Disparities and Interactions in China," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293309.
    2. Miles Corak & Michael Fertig & Marcus Tamm, 2008. "A Portrait Of Child Poverty In Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(4), pages 547-571, December.
    3. Loayza, Norman V. & Raddatz, Claudio, 2010. "The composition of growth matters for poverty alleviation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 137-151, September.
    4. Corak, Miles, 2005. "Principles and Practicalities for Measuring Child Poverty in the Rich Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 1579, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Terry Sicular & Yue Ximing & Björn Gustafsson & Li Shi, 2007. "The Urban-Rural Income Gap And Inequality In China," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(1), pages 93-126, March.
    6. Kraay, Aart, 2006. "When is growth pro-poor? Evidence from a panel of countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 198-227, June.
    7. Arne Bigsten & Abebe Shimeles, 2007. "Can Africa Reduce Poverty by Half by 2015?," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 25(2), pages 147-166, March.
    8. 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.
    9. James Thurlow & Peter Wobst, 2006. "Not All Growth is Equally Good for the Poor: The Case of Zambia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(4), pages 603-625, December.
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    More about this item


    child poverty; economic growth; Bangladesh; China;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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