Can Poverty be Alleviated in China?
The 2000s witnessed the third poverty alleviation wave in China. Compared with its predecessors, the third wave distinguished itself by new interventions and redefined standards for the National Poor Counties. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the new program using a data set consisting of 1,411 of China's western and central counties from 2000 to 2010. It combines the propensity score matching method with the difference‐in‐differences approach, which helps to avoid selection bias and track the policy impact on variables of interest at each time point. It is found that the non‐western local governments tended to manipulate data on income and output growth to maintain the special transfer payments disbursed exclusively to the National Poor Counties. It is also shown that the program failed to improve the infrastructure and sanitary conditions in general.
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