An Evaluation of Poverty Prevalence in China: New Evidence from Four Recent Surveys

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 11:30 AM
Room: Booth 42
Distributed Paper
Chunni ZHANG , Peking University, Beijing, China
Qi XU , Peking University, China
Xiang ZHOU , University of Michigan
Knowledge of actual poverty prevalence is important for any society concerned with improving public welfare and reducing poverty. In this paper, we calculate and compare the poverty incidence rate in China using four nationally representative surveys: the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) of 2010, the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) of 2010, the Chinese Household Finance Survey (CHFS) of 2011, and the Chinese Household Income Project (CHIP) of 2007. Using both international and official domestic poverty standards, we show that poverty prevalence at the national, rural, and urban levels based on CFPS, CGSS, and CHFS are much higher than the official estimation and those based on CHIP. The study highlights the importance of using independent datasets to validate official statistics of public and policy concern in contemporary China.