Inequality and poverty in rural China

Type Working Paper - CIBC Working Paper Series
Title Inequality and poverty in rural China
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 313-371
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 program (dibao) to
rural areas, the rural cooperative healthcare scheme, and the expansion of universal,
free nine-year public education (Chen 2009, 2010). 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).

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