China’s Anti-Poverty Strategy and Post-2020 Relative Poverty Line

Sun Jiuwen (孙久文) and Xia Tian (夏添)*
School of Applied Economics, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China

Abstract: China is about to eliminate absolute poverty in 2020 in favor of relative poverty. The Gini coefficient reflects a distorted picture of relative poverty in China, which is prominent and overlaps with absolute poverty. This paper reviews China’s moving poverty line and pro-poor policies in various stages. It then estimates the scale of rural relative poverty in the context of urban and rural divide, and lastly, it proposes that, beyond 2020, China should follow a two-region and two-stage approach in setting the relative poverty line. Coastal regions should adopt a relative poverty line based on household disposable income, interior regions should convert the absolute poverty line into relative poverty line. After 2035, China is expected to enter late-stage urbanization, and the relative poverty standard will be based on national disposable income. Future poverty governance should continue to focus on capacity training, regional transition, and multi-dimensional poverty identification.

Keywords: relative poverty line, transition of poverty type, potential poor populations, human capital development
JEL Classification Codes: I32, I38, J24
DOI: 1 0.19602/j .chinaeconomist.2020.05.05

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