Are there dynamic gains from a poor-area development program?
Poor-area development programs- in which the government transfers extra resources to unusually poor areas -have been widely used to fight poverty. There has been some research on such programs, but little is known about their impact on household living standards over time. The authors address the issue for a sizable poor-area development program in rural China. China's program had a significant impact on rural living standards in the targeted areas of the sample. The consumption-growth model suggests that households living in the targeted areas had a higher rate of consumption growth than one would have otherwise expected. Nonetheless the authors found that while the gains in growth were enough to prevent an absolute decline in average living standards, they were not enough to reverse the strong underlying divergent tendencies in the rural economy.
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