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Poverty Reduction in Urban China: The Impact of Cash Transfers

  • Wu, Alfred M.
  • Ramesh, M.

The extent to which social protection programs in general and targeted programs in particular actually alleviate poverty has been a central issue in development debates for decades. The objective of this paper is to contribute to the debate by empirically examining the poverty-alleviation effects of one of the largest targeted programs in the world: the Minimum Living Standard Assistance (MLSA) or Dibao in China. Using newly available data on MLSA spending and a unique panel survey dataset covering the 1993-2009 period, this research investigates the impact of the MLSA on poverty alleviation. The analyses using fixed- and random- effects logit models and hierarchical liner models offer insights that go beyond the existing studies on the subject. Findings from the study confirm that targeted social protection programs are an effective tool for reducing poverty.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/54358/1/MPRA_paper_54358.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 54358.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Publication status: Published in Social Policy and Society 2.13(2014): pp. 285-299
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:54358
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  1. Deaton, A. & Paxson, C., 1997. "Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food," Papers 178, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  2. Ugo Gentilini, 2009. "Social Protection in the 'Real World': Issues, Models and Challenges," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 27(2), pages 147-166, 03.
  3. Jing You, 2010. "Evaluating poverty duration and transition:A spell-approach to rural China," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 13410, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  4. Xin Meng & Robert Gregory & Guanhua Wan, 2007. "Urban Poverty In China And Its Contributing Factors, 1986-2000," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(1), pages 167-189, 03.
  5. Zhang, Yin & Wan, Guanghua, 2006. "The impact of growth and inequality on rural poverty in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 694-712, December.
  6. Sicular, Terry & Yue, Ximing & Gustafsson, Bjorn & Li, Shi, 2006. "The Urban-Rural Income Gap and Inequality in China," Working Paper Series RP2006/135, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  7. Qin Gao & Irwin Garfinkel & Fuhua Zhai, 2009. "Anti-Poverty Effectiveness Of The Minimum Living Standard Assistance Policy In Urban China," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(s1), pages 630-655, 07.
  8. Haiyong Liu, 2008. "The China health and nutrition survey: an important database for poverty and inequality research," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 373-376, December.
  9. Marianne Sandvad Ulriksen, 2012. "Questioning the Pro‐Poor Agenda: Examining the Links between Social Protection and Poverty," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 30(3), pages 261-281, 05.
  10. Jonathan Morduch & Terry Sicular, 1998. "Politics, Growth and Inequality in Rural China: Does It Pay To Join the Party?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1832, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. Indunil De Silva, 2008. "Micro-level determinants of poverty reduction in Sri Lanka: a multivariate approach," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 140-158, March.
  12. Dreze, Jean & Srinivasan, P. V., 1997. "Widowhood and poverty in rural India: Some inferences from household survey data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 217-234, December.
  13. GOH, Chor-ching & LUO, Xubei & ZHU, Nong, 2009. "Income growth, inequality and poverty reduction: A case study of eight provinces in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 485-496, September.
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