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Effects of the poverty alleviation relocation program on diet quality among low-income households

Huanguang Qiu (School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China)
Ganxiao Leng (School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China)
Xiaolong Feng (College of Economics and Management, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China)
Sansi Yang (School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China)

China Agricultural Economic Review

ISSN: 1756-137X

Article publication date: 3 December 2020

Issue publication date: 1 June 2021

301

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine impacts of the poverty alleviation relocation (PAR) program on diet quality of low-income households in China. We explore the impact mechanism of relocation on diet quality and the heterogeneous effects of different relocation modes.

Design/methodology/approach

A fixed effects model is constructed using panel data of 1126 low-income households collected over three years in eight provinces of China. The PAR program provides a natural experiment which dramatically changes the living conditions surrounding farmers. We are able to identify the causal effects of relocation on diet quality free from selection bias.

Findings

The empirical results show that the PAR program improves diet quality of low-income households and that better market access and increasing incomes induced by relocation play an important role in this improvement. Improved market access significantly reduces the over-consumption of staple foods, whereas higher income significantly reduces the intake divergences of non-staple foods. The impacts of different relocation modes on diet quality are highly heterogeneous.

Practical implications

Our findings indicate that the PAR program benefits diet quality of low-income households through greater market access and increases in total household income. Market improvements and food subsidies are conducive to improving the diet quality of the low income.

Originality/value

Despite widespread evidences of healthy diets being associated with household environments and income, selection bias remains. This paper utilizes an exogenous program to explore the causal impacts of market access and family income on diet quality and to separate their different effects.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study is supported by National natural Science foundation of China (No. 71761147004, No. 71861147002, No. 71803189).

Citation

Qiu, H., Leng, G., Feng, X. and Yang, S. (2021), "Effects of the poverty alleviation relocation program on diet quality among low-income households", China Agricultural Economic Review, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 397-417. https://doi.org/10.1108/CAER-06-2020-0128

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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