Welfare, Work, and Poverty: Social Assistance in China

ISBN : 9780190218133

Qing Gao
176 ページ
156 x 235 mm

Welfare, Work, and Poverty provides the first systematic and comprehensive evaluation of the impacts and effectiveness of China's primary social assistance program - Minimum Livelihood Guarantee, or Dibao - 20 years after its inception. Dibao serves the dual function of (a) providing a basic safety net for the poor and (b) maintaining social and political stability. Despite currently being the world's largest welfare program in terms of population coverage, evidence on Dibao's performance has been lacking. This book offers important new empirical evidence and draws policy lessons that are timely and useful for both China and beyond. Specifically, author Qin Gao addresses the following questions: * How effective has Dibao been in targeting the poor and alleviating poverty? * Have the Dibao recipients been dependent on welfare or able to move from welfare to work? * How has Dibao affected their consumption patterns and subjective well-being? * Do they use the Dibao subsidy to meet survival needs (such as food, clothing, and shelter) or invest in human capital (such as health and education)? * Are they distressed by the stigma associated with receiving Dibao or do they become more optimistic about future and enjoy greater life satisfaction because of the Dibao support? * And finally, what policy lessons can we learn from the existing evidence in order to strengthen and improve Dibao in the future? Answers to these questions not only help us gain an in-depth understanding of Dibao's performance, but also add the Chinese case to the growing international literature on comparative welfare studies. Welfare, Work, and Poverty is essential reading for political scientists, economists, sociologists, public policy researchers, and social workers interested in learning about and understanding contemporary China.


List of Tables and Figures
1. Introduction
2. Background, Inception, and Development
3. Thresholds, Financing, and Beneficiaries
4. Targeting Performance
5. Anti-Poverty Effectiveness
6. From Welfare to Work
7. Family Expenditures and Human Capital Investment
8. Social Participation and Subjective Well-being
9. What Next? Policy Solutions and Research Directions


Qin Gao, PhD, MPhil, MA, is Associate Professor of Social Policy and Social Work at the Columbia School of Social Work at Columbia University. She is also an Academic Board Member of the China Institute for Income Distribution and Beijing Normal University, and a Public Intellectual Fellow of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. Dr. Gao's research examines poverty, income inequality, and social welfare policies and programs in China and their cross-national comparisons. She has published widely in leading interdisciplinary journals such as the China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of Social Policy, Review of Income and Wealth, Social Service Review, and World Development.