The Changing Pattern of Poverty in China: Issues for Research and Policy
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Under the Maoist regime, China was held up by many as a successful model of development, providing basic needs including primary health care and education to a large population at very low levels of income. Since reform, the country has again become a 'model' of poverty reduction through economic growth. Despite manifest achievements, however, the numbers remaining in poverty – 65 million according to the most conservative estimate – make poverty reduction in China a pressing development issue. Through a review of the evidence on the changing pattern of poverty in post-Mao China, this paper points towards 'new' forms of poverty which are emerging as a consequence of reform, but which are inadequately dealt with through current region-focused anti-poverty programmes. The core of extreme poverty is found in remote, often mountainous, interior regions which have been largely by-passed by recent economic growth. However, market reforms, despite raising many people out of poverty, also create new sources of risk and vulnerability, potentially creating poverty among new groups of people located outside the designated 'poor regions'. This trend is likely to be exacerbated by current enterprise reforms which may have a significant impact on rates of urban poverty. A new approach to poverty reduction policy is required which concentrates not only on poor regions, but also considers the more complex and dynamic nature of poverty which inevitably accompanies the diversification and marketisation of the economy.
CitationCook, S. & White, G. (1998) The Changing Pattern of poverty in China: Issues for Research and Policy, IDS Working Paper 67, Brighton: IDS.
Is part of seriesIDS working papers;67
Library catalogue entryhttp://bldscat.ids.ac.uk/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=111180
Rights holderInstitute of Development Studies
- IDS Research