Poverty Identification in Rural China Used a Multidimensional Approach

January 20, 2022

In a new article published in the Journal of Chinese Political Science, Xia Li, Qin Gao, and Jie Tang examined the process and outcomes of poverty identification in the Targeted Poverty Alleviation Strategy (TPA) in rural China. TPA was launched in 2013, with the aim of eliminating rural extreme poverty by 2020. 

Using the 2016 “Thousand-Person Hundred-Village” national survey data, the authors found that the TPA strategy used a multidimensional approach to identify poor households and register them into the national poverty database. This article also revealed that using the multidimensional poverty measure achieved better targeting performance of poverty identification than using the income poverty measure only. For most low-income rural households, registration in the national poverty databased was the only gateway to receiving government assistance.

Based on these findings, the authors made several policy recommendations, including upholding the implementation of the multidimensional poverty approach in poverty identification, broadening various government assistance programs to support both the poor and near-poor households, and adopting multiple strategies to sustain the existing poverty alleviation achievements and prevent relapses in absolute poverty and address relative poverty. 

The authors of this study combined their expertise from interdisciplinary backgrounds to investigate this topic. Xia Li holds a Ph.D. in public and urban policy from The New School and is a fellow of the Columbia China Center for Social Policy. Qin Gao is a professor of social policy and social work and the founding director of the China Center. Jie Tang is an associate professor of urban planning and management at Renmin University of China.

You can read the article here

Columbia Affiliations
China Center for Social Policy