Quality & Quantity

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 1325–1345 | Cite as

Analysis of China’s policy effect on poverty alleviation: evidence from Chongqing in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region

  • Min Zhu
  • Chuanmin ShuaiEmail author
  • Xiaoyan Wang
  • Zhihui Leng
  • Fan Zhang


With the continuous socio-economic development, the Chinese government has readjusted its poverty alleviation and development strategies, and established the targeted poverty alleviation policies in an attempt to holistically build a well-off society. Based on the panel data of nine national poverty-stricken counties (districts) in Chongqing in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region from 1998 to 2015, this paper quantitatively analyzed the effect of the national poverty alleviation policies in the context of targeted poverty alleviation by adopting the methodologies of a break-point regression and a panel regression. The results show that: (1) The national policy for targeted poverty alleviation has a significant effect on poverty reduction, and this effect has manifested since the beginning of its implementation, i.e. the net income of farmers in 2012 increased by 12.41%, as against that during 2010–2011. The per capita net income of farmers has increased by 33.64% from 2011 to 2015 during the implementation period of the targeted poverty alleviation policy, as against that during 1998–2010. The policy effect during 2011–2015 is also evident, for the net income of farmers increased by 21.23% compared with that from the beginning of the policy implementation in 2012; (2) Economic activity of the market and gross value of agricultural product in the poverty-stricken areas have significantly increased farmers’ net income, specifically, for every 1% increase in the degree of market economic activity, farmers’ net income will increase by 48.74%; Furthermore, for every 1% increase in gross value of agricultural product, the farmers’ net income will increase by 3.7%. Finally, this paper proposed corresponding policy recommendations based on these findings.


Targeted poverty alleviation Policy effect Breakpoint regression China Three Gorges Reservoir Region in Chongqing 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China: (1) Research on the Theoretic Models for Evaluating Anti-Poverty Performances and Paths to Sustainable Poverty Eradication: a Case of Solar PV Projects (Grant No.: 71773119); (2) Research on Poverty Inducing Mechanism of Eco-Geological Factors and Anti-Poverty Strategies – A case of the Three Gorges Reservoir Region (Grant No.: 71473231); (3) the Major Program of National Social Science Foundation of China (NSSFC) (Grant No.:17ZDA085); and (4) This research is also supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) (No. CUG170101).


  1. Akhtar, S., Saboor, A., Mohsan, A.Q., Hassan, F.U., Hussain, A., Khurshid: Poverty dynamics of rural Punjab and over time changes. J. Anim. Plant Sci. 25(25), 572–577 (2015).
  2. Ali, I., Barrientos, A., Saboor, A., Khan, A. U., Nelson, J.: A decade of sub-national pro-poor growth in Pakistan. Soc. Indic. Res. 133, 1–19 (2017).
  3. Angulo, R., Díaz, Y., Pardo, R.: The Colombian multidimensional poverty index: measuring poverty in a public policy context. Soc. Indic. Res. 127(1), 1–38 (2016).
  4. Balasubramanian, S.: Is the PDS already a cash transfer? Rethinking India’s food subsidy policies. J. Dev. Stud. 6, 1–18 (2015).
  5. Barrett, C.B., Christiaensen, L., Sheahan, M., Shimeles, A.: On the structural transformation of rural Africa. J. Afr. Econ. 26, 111–135 (2017). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carswell, G., Neve, G.D.: Mgnrega in Tamil Nadu: a story of success and transformation? J. Agrar. Change 14(4), 564–585 (2014).
  7. Chen, Q.H., Yang, G.T., Dong, X.L.: Comparison of dynamic poverty alleviation between village mutual funds and poverty alleviation-targeted loan—a case study of Ningxia. Econ. Issues, 8, 7–27 (2017).
  8. Chen, X., Shen, Y.: Evaluation of the poverty situation in rural China and the anti-poverty policy of the government in the new era—a case study of Tianjin rural areas. Nankai Econ. Res. 3, 23–38 (2014).
  9. Fossati, D.: Is Indonesian local government accountable to the poor? Evidence from health policy implementation. J. East Asian Stud. 1(3), 1–24 (2016).
  10. Gangopadhyay, S., Lensink, R., Yadav, B.: Cash or in-kind transfers? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial in Delhi, India. J. Dev. Stud. 51(6), 660–673 (2015).
  11. Hahn, J., Petra, T., Wilbur, V.D.: Identification and estimation of treatment effects with a regression-discontinuity design. Econometrica 69, 201–209 (2001). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hu, J. X., Wen, C.H.: Study on the spatial distribution characteristics of economic development in contiguous poverty areas in western China—based on the geostatistical analysis of Three Gorges Reservoir Region. J. Jishou Univ. 36(1), 109–117 (2015).
  13. Imbens, G., Kalyanaraman, K.: Optimal bandwidth choice for the regression discontinuity estimator. Rev. Econ. Stud. 79(3), 933–959 (2012).
  14. Jia, J.X., Qin, C., Liu, Y.Z.: Policy design of “Top-down” and “Bottom-up” integration: an empirical analysis based on poverty alleviation in rural areas. Chin. Soc. Sci. 9, 68–89 (2017).
  15. Jiang, H., Liu, Z.Y.: Coupling and coordination analysis of public policy, agricultural development and poverty alleviation in impoverished areas—an empirical analysis based on data from Guizhou, Yunnan and Anhui provinces. Econ. Geogr. 11, 132–140 (2016).
  16. Lee, D.S.: Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. house elections. J. Econome. 142, 675–697 (2008).
  17. Lee, D. S., Lemieuxa, T.: Regression discontinuity designs in economics. J. Econ. Lit. 2, 281–355 (2010).
  18. Lee, S-M.: Applying regression discontinuity design to social policy: an evaluation of the welfare-to-work program in South Korea. Korean J. Policy Stud. 31(1), 1–29 (2016).
  19. Li, S.: Poverty reduction and effects of pro-poor policies in rural China. China & World Econ. 22(2), 22–41 (2014). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Li, X.F., Jiang, A.Y.: Proposes on pro-poor growth: on the poverty alleviation policy orientation in minority areas. China Popul. Res. Environ. 27(1), 162-178 (2017).
  21. Litschig, S., Morrison, K. M.: The impact of intergovernmental transfers on education outcomes and poverty reduction. Am. Econ. J. Appl. Econ. 5(4), 206–240 (2013).
  22. Liu,W.: Econometric software EViews 6.0 modeling methods and operating skills. Machinery Industry Press, Beijing (2011)Google Scholar
  23. Liu, Y., Shuai, C.M., Chen, X., Shuai, J.: Spatial and temporal evolution of poverty in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region based on DSR model—from the perspective of ecological poverty alleviation. Econ. Geogr. 37(07), 156–165 (2017).
  24. Liu, Y., Zhang, B.: Performance evaluation of poverty alleviation in contiguous development—an empirical study of Hebei province based on the method of synthetic control. Econ. Forum 7, 10–16 (2017).
  25. Llorca-Rodríguez, C.M., García-Fernández, R.M., Sáez-Lozano, J.L.: Poverty and fiscal decentralization. An empirical analysis using country panel data. El Trimestre econ. 84(335), 611–643 (2017).
  26. Lü X.: Intergovernmental transfers and local education provision—evaluating China’s Eight-seven national plan for poverty reduction. China Econ. Rev. 33(4), 200–211 (2015).
  27. Mahadevan, R., Hoang, V. N., Costa, A. M.: The nexus between poverty and deprivation in Vietnam. J. Policy Model. 38(2), 290–303 (2016).
  28. Martini, R.A., Hermeto, A.M., Jayme, F.G.: Economic cycles and poverty composition in Brazil: an analysis of recent decades. Econ. Soc. 23(11), 1021–1035 (2014).
  29. Paessousa, R., Vaitsman, J.: The zero hunger and Brazil without extreme poverty programs: a step forward in Brazilian social protection policy. Cien Saude Colet 19(11), 4351–4360 (2014). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Piperata, B.A., Mcsweeney, K., Rui, S.M.: Conditional cash transfers, food security, and health: biocultural insights for poverty-alleviation policy from the Brazilian Amazon. Curr. Anthropol. 57(6), 806–826 (2016).
  31. Ren, Y.H.: EViews application of experimental tutorial. Hunan University Press, Hunan (2008)Google Scholar
  32. Rogers, S.: Betting on the strong: local government resource allocation in China’s poverty counties. J. Rural Stud. 36, 197–206 (2014).
  33. Saad-Filho, A.: Social Policy for Neoliberalism: the Bolsa family programmer in Brazil. Dev. Change 46(6), 1227–1252 (2015). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Saleem, Z., Donaldson, J.A.: Pathways to poverty reduction. Dev. Policy Rev. 34(5), 671–690 (2016). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Schulze, J., Frank, K., Müller, B.: Governmental response to climate risk: model-based assessment of livestock supplementation in dry lands. Land Use Policy 54, 47–57 (2016).
  36. Shen, Y., Peng, X.B.: Channel financing model and targeted poverty alleviation—based on the quasi-experimental study. J. Financ. Econ. 42(09), 4–15 (2016).
  37. Shuai, C.M., Wang, J., Cheng, X.: Optimization and simulation of ecological poverty alleviation in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region. J. Quant. Econ. Technol. Econ. 34(01), 21–39 (2017).
  38. Škare, M., Družeta, R.P.: Poverty and economic growth: a review. Technol. Econ. Dev. Econ. 22(1), 156–175 (2016). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wang, F., Kang, J.J., Zhang, Z.Y.: Market-liberalization of enterprises, opening to the outside world and economic growth in China: an empirical analysis based on time series data of non-stationary panels. Chin. J. Manag. Sci. 22(4), 149–151 (2008).
  40. Wang, J.Y., Chen, Y.F., Yan, M.C.: Targeted poverty alleviation policy and its innovation path in China. Chin. Acad. Sci. 3, 289–295 (2016).
  41. Wang, M.C., Gao, Y.H.: Poverty changes in urban and rural China: 2004–2012. China. Popul. Resour. Environ. 27(04), 49–57 (2017).
  42. Wang, Q., Wang, Q.S.: Research on regional poverty reduction effects of fiscal expenditure on agriculture in China. J. Shandong Univ. Financ. Econ. 29(05), 36–45 (2017).
  43. Wang, S.G., Liu, W.: Targeted poverty alleviation by accurate poverty alleviation: a new idea of anti-poverty in rural China. J. South China Normal Univ. (Soc. Sci.) 5, 110–115 (2016).
  44. Wang, S.G., Zhang, Y., Yang, L., Liang, X.M.: Research on home-based problems of poverty alleviation project in contiguous and impoverished areas—based on the survey of three provinces and six counties in Wumengshan area. Zhongzhou Acad. J. 3, 68–72 (2015).
  45. Wang, Y.M., Liu, Z.H.: Policy effectiveness evaluation of large-scale public expenditure projects—a case study of the “Poverty Alleviation Program of August Forth”. Chin. Econ. Financ. Trade 37(1), 33–47 (2016).
  46. Zhang, B.B.: Political poverty alleviation in the new era: target choice and farmers’ income. J. Econ. (Q.) 12(03), 959–982 (2013a).
  47. Zhang, L.D.: Study on the dynamics of poverty in rural China and the poverty alleviation policies. J. Jianghai Univ. 2, 227–233 (2013b).
  48. Zhang, W.B., Wang S.G.: Poverty reduction policies, income distribution and rural poverty alleviation in China. Agric. Econ. 2, 66–75 (2013).
  49. Zhou, M.H., Tao, R.: Market or government: assessing China’s rural poverty alleviation policy. Int. Econ. Rev. 6, 63–76 (2016).
  50. Zou, W., Qu, G.Y.: A poverty of assets and poverty alleviation of assets—a new perspective based on accurate poverty alleviation. Microecon. Res. 05, 69–73 (2017).

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementChina University of GeosciencesHongshan District, WuhanChina
  2. 2.Hubei Maternal and Child Health HospitalWuhanChina

Personalised recommendations