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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2009

Xiuqing Wang, Juan Liu, Shujie Yao and Xian Xin

The purpose of this paper is to yield more plausible rural poverty lines for China and then assess the determinants of rural poverty using these newly revised rural poverty lines.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to yield more plausible rural poverty lines for China and then assess the determinants of rural poverty using these newly revised rural poverty lines.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper it is argued that the Chinese official poverty line substantially misestimates the actual rural poverty situations. The poverty lines are derived with Ravallion's method with a rural household survey data of China's two provinces, Hubei, and Inner Mongolia. Poverty determinants using the derived as well as the other rural poverty lines are compared.

Findings

The results indicate that the poverty lines derived from a pan‐country level food bundle cannot fully reflect the regional poverty situation. Merely adjusting rural poverty lines at the country‐level consumer price index without fully considering changes in the structure of food consumption and food prices with respect to different regions may also lead to wrong poverty estimates. The comparisons between the model regression results using the newly derived poverty lines with the alternative rural poverty lines suggest that the current literature uses the World Bank or the Chinese official rural poverty lines to assess how the rural poverty determinants might yield implausible policy implications.

Practical implications

China needs to adjust the rural poverty lines with full consideration to the structure of food consumption and food prices with respect to different regions.

Originality/value

It is indicated that the Chinese official poverty line substantially misestimates the actual rural poverty situations in China and this in turn affects the associated policy implications.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 20 September 2011

Tongwei Xie

This article aims to analyze inter‐provincial disparities of rural education and the convergence rate, and to discuss the effects of compulsory education reform after 2001.

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to analyze inter‐provincial disparities of rural education and the convergence rate, and to discuss the effects of compulsory education reform after 2001.

Design/methodology/approach

The article estimates the rural average education years and education Gini coefficients of China's 31 provinces (municipalities) beside Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan from 2001 to 2008, and applies the method of “economic convergence”.

Findings

The results show that after the reform of rural compulsory education, inter‐provincial rural education disparities and educational equality have been significantly improved and trend to convergence; nevertheless the convergence rate on inter‐provincial disparities of education equality declines. The defects of the education input system – “county as principle” – has been a factor that restricts the coordinated development of rural education.

Practical limitations

This paper suggests that it is necessary for China's provincial and central government to afford the expense of compulsory education. China's present investment system would also worsen inter‐provincial inequities of education.

Social implications

Education equality is one of the basic social priorities. In China education equality has been improved; however it could be better if China's provincial and central government afforded the expenses of compulsory education.

Originality/value

This paper applies the method of “economic convergence” to analyze China's rural education disparities among its regions.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 25 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Book part
Publication date: 21 April 2010

Niny Khor and John Pencavel

In the United States, there is little difference in annual income inequality and income mobility between the rural and urban sectors of the economy. This forms a sharp…

Abstract

In the United States, there is little difference in annual income inequality and income mobility between the rural and urban sectors of the economy. This forms a sharp contrast with China where income inequality is greater and income mobility lower among rural households than among urban households. When incomes are averaged over three years and when adjustments are made for the size and composition of households, income inequality among all households differs little between China and the United States in the 1990s. Moreover when pooling rural households and urban households and when measuring annual income inequality and income mobility of the pooled households, the mobility of incomes of households in the United States differs little from that in China. Social welfare functions are posited that allow for a trade-off between increases in income and increases in income inequality. These suggest strong increases in well-being for urban households in China. The corresponding changes in rural China and in the United States are smaller. Four sets of data on households are drawn on to document these findings.

Details

Jobs, Training, and Worker Well-being
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-766-0

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Book part
Publication date: 10 October 2017

Sabina Alkire and Yangyang Shen

Most poverty research has explored monetary poverty. This chapter presents and analyzes the global multidimensional poverty index (MPI) estimations for China. Using China

Abstract

Most poverty research has explored monetary poverty. This chapter presents and analyzes the global multidimensional poverty index (MPI) estimations for China. Using China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), we find China’s global MPI was 0.035 in 2010 and decreased significantly to 0.017 in 2014. The dimensional composition of MPI suggests that nutrition, education, safe drinking water, and cooking fuel contribute most to overall non-monetary poverty in China. Such analysis is also applied to subgroups, including geographic areas (rural/urban, east/central/west, provinces), as well as social characteristics such as gender of the household heads, age, education level, marital status, household size, migration status, ethnicity, and religion. We find the level and composition of poverty differs significantly across certain subgroups. We also find high levels of mismatch between monetary and multidimensional poverty at the household level, which highlights the importance of using both complementary measures to track progress in eradicating poverty.

Details

Research on Economic Inequality
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-521-4

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Article
Publication date: 20 September 2018

Hongyan Liu, Hao Xue, Yaojiang Shi and Scott Rozelle

Low levels of human capital in rural China are rooted in the poor schooling outcomes of elementary school students. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into…

Abstract

Purpose

Low levels of human capital in rural China are rooted in the poor schooling outcomes of elementary school students. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the distribution of academic performance in rural China and identify vulnerable groups.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on a data set of 25,892 observations constructed from 11 school-level surveys spanning nine provinces and one municipality in China conducted from 2013 to 2015.

Findings

The authors find that the distribution of academic performance is uneven across provinces and subgroups. In general, male students, Han, living in richer counties, living with their parents and studying in rural public schools do better academically than female students, non-Han, living in poorer counties, left behind and studying in private migrant schools in cities.

Research limitations/implications

Using the results of this study, policymakers should be able to better target investments into rural education focusing on at risk subpopulations.

Originality/value

With limited data sources, the research on the academic performance of students in rural China is largely absent. The findings of this study help to fill the gaps in the literature base.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Ling-Yun He, Bingdong Hou and Hua Liao

Rural energy policy is a critical measure to fight the long-standing poverty issue in China. Energy poverty, per se, is one important yet too often neglected dimension of…

Abstract

Purpose

Rural energy policy is a critical measure to fight the long-standing poverty issue in China. Energy poverty, per se, is one important yet too often neglected dimension of poverty, and one of the biggest challenges in rural China during the 40-year rural reform. Reducing energy poverty is one of the poverty alleviation tasks and the goals of energy transition in the rural areas. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the status of energy poverty in China, discussing the challenges of energy poverty reduction, and then proposing the potential measures.

Design/methodology/approach

Using various data (including the authors’ survey data), this paper analyzes the volume and structure of energy use, and affordability of energy for the rural households, then examines the impacts of energy poverty on health, social and productivity, and finally discusses the infrastructure, cognitive ability, culture, income, etc., that shape the challenges to energy poverty reduction.

Findings

In addition to raising the household income, it is urgently needed to enforce the collaborations among government departments, and to improve the energy infrastructure according to local conditions, helping the residential environment cognition.

Originality/value

Energy poverty is almost a too often neglected issue in rural China. Few in existing literature comprehensively investigate this critically important social economic problem. This paper contributes to the profound understanding in energy poverty and the possible approaches to alleviate it.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Yansui Liu, Yuanzhi Guo and Yang Zhou

Poverty alleviation is a global challenge. Human society has never ceased to fight against poverty. China was once the developing country with the largest rural poor…

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4197

Abstract

Purpose

Poverty alleviation is a global challenge. Human society has never ceased to fight against poverty. China was once the developing country with the largest rural poor population in the world. Remarkable achievements have been made in China’s antipoverty program over the past decades, shaping a unique poverty reduction strategy with Chinese characteristics. The purpose of this paper is to first review the history of China’s rural reform and antipoverty, and then analyze the related policy systems, mechanism innovations and future challenges in poverty alleviation and development. At last, some specific policy implications were provided.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature on China’s antipoverty history was reviewed and mechanism innovations on targeted poverty alleviation strategy were investigated.

Findings

Along with the deepening of the rural reform, the poverty alleviation and development in new China have undergone six stages, and experienced a transformation from relief-oriented to development-oriented poverty alleviation. The object of poverty alleviation has gradually targeted with a transformation from poor counties/areas to villages/households, and the effectiveness of poverty alleviation is also gradually improved. However, the increase in the difficulty of antipoverty, fragile ecological environment, rapid population aging and rural decline poses challenges to the construction of a well-off society in an all-round way in China. Specific antipoverty measures were put forward based on the investigation. Finally, the authors emphasize the importance of strengthening the study of poverty geography.

Originality/value

This study investigates the history of China’s antipoverty policy and analyzes the future challenges for implementing targeted poverty alleviation policy. These findings will lay a foundation for the formulation of China’s antipoverty policies after 2020, and provide experience for poverty alleviation in other developing countries around the world.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2018

Weidong Wang, Yongqing Dong, Renfu Luo, Yunli Bai and Linxiu Zhang

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of education in the labor market and to understand how returns to education change over time in rural China.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of education in the labor market and to understand how returns to education change over time in rural China.

Design/methodology/approach

Using nationally representative survey data from 2004 to 2015, this study provides insights on wage determination in the labor market and examines how the returns to education in rural China differ with time and educational endowment. This study applies ordinary least squares estimation and the Heckman selection model to estimate the returns to education.

Findings

The returns to education decreased during the observed years from more than 6 percent in 2004 to only about 3 percent in 2011, rising to nearly 4 percent in 2015. The overall trend is robust and observed within groups defined by education. Additionally, the returns to education vary greatly with educational endowment. Tertiary education has always maintained a high rate of returns at nearly 10 percent, while returns to senior high school education and below have gradually diminished.

Originality/value

The authors believe that the results will not only enrich studies on the returns to education in rural China, but also provide a basis for diagnosing the changes of rural labor market in the early twenty-first century.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Qiran Zhao, Stephan Brosig, Renfu Luo, Linxiu Zhang, Ai Yue and Scott Rozelle

The need for a universal rural pension system has been heightened by demographic changes in rural China, including the rapid aging of the nation’s rural population and a…

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1028

Abstract

Purpose

The need for a universal rural pension system has been heightened by demographic changes in rural China, including the rapid aging of the nation’s rural population and a dramatic decline in fertility. In response to these changes, China’s Government introduced the New Rural Social Pension Program (NRSPP) in 2009, a voluntary and highly subsidized pension scheme. The purpose of this paper is to assess the participation of rural farmers in the NRSPP. Furthermore, the authors examine whether the NRSPP affects the labor supply of the elderly population in China.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses household-level data from a sample of 2,020 households originating from a survey conducted by the authors in five provinces, 25 counties, and 101 villages in rural China. Using a probit model and conducting correlation analysis, the authors demonstrate the factors affecting the participation and the impact of NRSPP on labor supply of the rural elderly.

Findings

The results show there are several factors that are correlated with participation, such as specific policy variant in force in the respective household's province, the size of the pension payout from government, the age of sample individuals, and the value of household durable assets. Specifically, different characteristics of NRSPP policy implementation increase participation in China’s social pension program. The results suggest that the introduction of the NRSPP has not affected the labor supply of the rural elderly, in general, although it has reduced participation for the elderly who were in poor health.

Originality/value

Several previous studies have covered the NRSPP. However, all previous studies were based on case studies or just focused on a small region, and for this reason the results cannot reflect the populations and heterogeneity of rural areas. Therefore, a data set with a large sample size is used in this paper to provide a new perspective to fully understand the participation of NRSPP and its impacts on rural households. This paper will make an update contribution to the literature in the area of pension programs in China.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2014

Cheng Xiang, Xiangping Jia and Jikun Huang

Internationally, microfinance run by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is often considered an important approach to meeting the credit demand of rural households…

Abstract

Purpose

Internationally, microfinance run by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is often considered an important approach to meeting the credit demand of rural households, particularly among the poor. However, the perceived competitions with formal financial institutions and concerns about financial risks in the rural economy have impeded the development of microfinance by NGOs in China. Despite these concerns about NGO microfinance, little empirical evidence has been brought to prove them. The purpose of this paper is to provide empirical evidence of the relationship between NGO microfinance and farmers’ demand for formal and informal credit in rural China.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a household longitudinal data set consisting of 749 households from 40 microfinance villages in rural China. This study draws evidence from China's largest NGO microfinance. Out of the five county branches where China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation has launched institutionalized microfinance since 2006, the authors selected two of them. A random sampling approach was applied in surveying villages and households. In an effort to create impact assessments, the authors surveyed the detailed information on household characteristics and credit access during the period 2006-2009. A panel data is thus structured for the analysis.

Findings

The authors found that the demand for credit in rural China is immense and rising, as formal financial institutions have gradually moved away from less developed regions in rural areas. In its place, informal lending has become a primary source of credit for the poor. However, where NGO microfinance has become available, both formal and informal credit has slowed down. The development and expansion of NGO microfinance did stand up as a substitution for institutional lenders and informal financial networks.

Research limitations/implications

The findings have profound policy implications. First, since the development of NGO microfinance fill the demand for credit in rural China and poses low financial risk, the intellectual bias against NGO microfinance is unwarranted. In particular, the regulations that hamper the development of NGO microfinance should be corrected. Second, informal networks do not appear to be costless. Where NGO microfinance can substitute for them, it can mitigate the financial stresses related to the informal credit market.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

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