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Inequality and Poverty in Rural China

  • Agricultural Science
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Medicine
  • Political Science


Microsoft Word - FINAL.1.FRONT MATTER...doc Paper Revised August, 2012 Inequality and Poverty in Rural China by LUO Chuliang and Terry Sicular Working Paper # 2011-14 October 2011 CIBC Working Paper Series Department of Economics Social Science Centre The University of Western Ontario London, Ontario, N6A 5C2 Canada This working paper is available as a downloadable pdf file on our website 333 FIVE Inequality and Poverty in Rural China* LUO Chuliang and Terry Sicular 334 I. Introduction The rural sector has featured prominently in China’s policy agenda since the change in leadership in the early 2000s. For each of the seven consecutive years from 2004 through 2010 the State Council’s No. 1 Central Document addressed rural policies. As the first policy communiqué of the year, these documents are indicative of the high priority placed on the rural sector (Xinhua 2008, 2010), and they have introduced an array of policy initiatives, such as the “New Socialist Countryside” program. Key rural policies during this period have included the elimination of agricultural taxes and fees, government subsidies for agricultural production, public investments in rural infrastructure, extension of the minimum living guarantee (dibao) program to rural areas, the rural cooperative medical system, and the expansion of universal, free nine-year public education (Chen 2009, 2010; Lin and Wong 2012). In addition, the government has implemented measures to ease restrictions on rural-urban mobility and to improve work and living conditions for migrants (Cai, Du, and Wang 2009). The recent emphasis on the rural sector reflects two national concerns: the widening gap between urban and rural incomes and the slow growth of agricultural production. The growing gap between urba

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