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Thesis on household poverty and wellbeing in China

Ding, Shuo; (2022) Thesis on household poverty and wellbeing in China. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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My research is focused on estimating household vulnerability to poverty in China. Different from the traditional assessment of household economic status, which measures the static status of household poverty, I stress poverty as being a multifaceted and dynamic phenomenon and estimate the ex-ante probability of households being poor in the future. In the first chapter, I propose a subjective poverty line for each household to quantify the vulnerability to poverty in urban and rural households by considering residents’ expectations and their propensity to compare their perceived welfare level with those of other community members. The research question is whether the Chinese rural household are more likely to enter the poverty under the measurement of subjective poverty line. The findings show that the overall vulnerability incidence in urban households is lower than in rural households. The regional differential in terms of vulnerability to poverty continues to exist, but the western province in both urban and rural households has not shown a significantly higher vulnerability rate than in other regions. Educational qualification is a determinant of the vulnerability of rural residents, whereas it does not have remarkable positive effects on urban households. Meanwhile, the impacts of welfare systems upon both urban and rural households are larger than expected, while the coverage of them is incomplete and calls for government to implement more social reforms to mitigate the risk and buffer the vulnerability, and to adopt a more equalising approach (instead of unrestrained growth). In the second chapter, I apply the FGLS approach in order to explore the incidences and sources of poverty and vulnerability in urban China, the research question is whether the influence of covariate shocks upon household vulnerability to poverty is more than that of idiosyncratic shocks in urban Chinese household. Our results show that idiosyncratic shocks have a greater influence on household vulnerability, though both idiosyncratic and covariate shocks make contributions to household vulnerability to poverty. All the regions that we have discussed in this study follow this pattern except for Chongqing, a municipality in the western region that shows that idiosyncratic shocks have impacts that are equal to those of covariate shocks, which indicates that the insurance mechanism within the community makes a contribution to household income that is similar to that of the insurance mechanism across spatially separated communities. This implies that, in contrast to all other regions, which show a higher impact of idiosyncratic shocks upon household income than that of covariate shocks, Chongqing finds it easier to implement an ex-ante coping strategy to reduce household vulnerability to poverty, as idiosyncratic shocks are more difficult to anticipate than covariate shocks. In the third chapter, based on the 2013, 2015 and 2018 Chinese elder household surveys, I observe the changes in vulnerability of elder households to poverty during these years and the first research question is whether the different types of medical insurance are closely link with the incidence of vulnerability. And the second one is whether types of medical insurances have more significant effects on reduce the vulnerability to poverty in rural household than that in urban household. The results show that the vulnerability rate in rural areas is decreasing gradually, while the vulnerability rate in urban areas is increasing. Meanwhile, New Cooperative Rural Medical Insurance and Civil Servant Medical Insurance show a significant impact on reducing household vulnerability, while other medical insurance makes no significant contributions to the incidence of vulnerability, which is contrary to the empirical studies suggested. Overall, from the first chapter to the last chapter, different types of poverty line are used to test the characteristic Chinese household with vulnerability to poverty. The first chapter emphasizes the significant impact of children and youth on the household and the second one focus on the effect of adult and the last chapter concentrates on the influence of the elder on the household vulnerability to poverty. The whole paper covers all age groups in Chinese household and considers all the possible structures of Chinese household.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Thesis on household poverty and wellbeing in China
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author's request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10160651
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