Multidimensional Poverty and Anti-poverty Policy
Poverty is a worldwide problem and one of the central issues in economics, especially in development economics. Based on different interpretations of the connotation of poverty, people have different understanding of poverty reduction. Poverty itself, however, is not only a concept of governance covering policy practice and institutional arrangements, but also a concept related to the ultimate goal of social development, human development in an all-round way. The connotation of poverty alleviation covers, in essence, at least three levels. At the economic level, it is the bottom line of poverty reduction to guarantee the basic living of poor people through economic development from the political and standardization perspective so that the poor will be able to survive. At the institutional level, it means the implementation of social rights from the perspective of institutional arrangement and supply, correcting the social discrimination against the poor, making sure that the poor have the right to get jobs, relocate, live and receive education, safeguarding social justice, narrowing the gap between rich and poor, promoting the fairness of income distribution, reducing social deprivation of poor population, avoiding the phenomenon of social exclusion, and seeking stable, harmonious and sustainable economic and social development. From the development perspective, it means the setting of the ultimate goal of poverty eradication. The historical practices of human fight against poverty show that, if anti-poverty work is regarded as to continuously meet the human needs or the realization of the improvement of the quality of life, then, the mankind will never achieve the goal of eliminating poverty. In essence, we must take the lofty goal of development as an important principle of value so that the human beings will be able to share the results of social development and ultimately achieve the goal of eliminating absolute and relative poverty. According to the connotation of poverty reduction, since two British professor Booth (1889) in his paper <The work and life of the people of the east end of London> and Rowntree (1901) in his paper <Poverty: a study of urban life> defined and measured poverty from the perspective of economic resources or income level necessary for maintaining basic living, the identification of poverty has experienced the development process from static to dynamic, from objective to subjective, from affirmatory to ambiguous and from one-dimensional to multi-dimensional development (Ye in J Hubei Univ Econ 6:13–17, 2010). With the changes in the understanding of poverty reduction, China’s poverty alleviation and development strategy has also experienced the transformation from focusing on simple relief poverty alleviation to stressing the development-oriented poverty alleviation, and finally to integrated poverty alleviation and development. Under the theoretical framework of multidimensional poverty, relying on the resource development, infrastructure construction and key project implementation in impoverished regions, through entire village advancement, labor training and industrialization poverty alleviation, the integrated poverty alleviation and development policy has effectively enhanced the self-development ability of impoverished regions. In particular, the “Opinions on Mechanism Innovation to Steadily Promote Rural Poverty Alleviation and Development” issued by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council in 2014 put forward specific working mechanism and specific measures for lifting more than 70 million poor people out of poverty by 2020, providing rich a wealth of practical basis for Multidimensional Poverty Theory.
- Sen, A. 1983. Poor, Relatively Speaking. Oxford Economicc Paper 35 (2): 53–169.Google Scholar
- Wang, Suxia, and Xiaolin Wang. 2013. China’s Multidimensional Poverty Measurement. Journal of China Agricultural University (Social Science Edition) (02): 13–19.Google Scholar
- Ye, Chusheng. 2010. Recent Progress in the Study of Multidimensional Poverty and Its Measurement: Problems and Methods. Journal of Hubei University of Economics (06): 13–17.Google Scholar
- Zhang, Quanhong, and Qiang Zhou. 2014. Dynamic Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty in Chinese Provinces—Taking 9 Provinces in China Health and Nutrition Survey as Examples. Journal of Guizhou University of Finance and Economics (01): 16–19.Google Scholar