Author:Sanjay G. Reddy, Camelia Minoiu
Subject: Poverty and Inequality
" /> Abstract: This Working Paper investigates how estimates of the extent and trend of consumption poverty in China between 1990 and 2001 vary as a result of alternative plausible assumptions concerning the poverty line and estimated levels of consumption. The exercise is motivated by the existence of considerable uncertainty about the appropriate poverty lines to apply and the level and distribution of resources in China. Our methodology focuses on the following sources of variation: alternative purchasing power parity conversion factors (used to convert an international poverty line), alternative estimates of the level and distribution of private incomes, alternative estimates of the propensity to consume of lower income groups, and alternative consumer price indices. It is widely believed that substantial poverty reduction took place in China in the 1990s, and we find this conclusion to be robust to the choice of assumptions. Moreover, there is no evidence that the rate of poverty reduction declined over time. China’s record of reducing consumption poverty has been dramatic. However, estimates of the extent of Chinese poverty in any year are greatly influenced by the assumptions made. The choice among these estimates is likely to have large implications for the perceived extent and trend of world poverty.

keywords: Consumption poverty, China, Sensitivity analysis
Date Publication: 07/30/2006 (All day)
Type/Issue: Working Paper / 25
JEL: I32, D31
ISSN: 1812-108X
Language: English