Poverty and Economic Development in Southwestern China
Publication Year: 2011
How can policymakers effectively reduce poverty? Most mainstream economists advocate promoting economic growth, on the grounds that it generally reduces poverty while bringing other economic benefits. However, this dominant hypothesis offers few alternatives for economies that are unable to grow, or in places where economic growth fails to reduce or actually exacerbates poverty. In Small Works, John A. Donaldson draws on his extensive fieldwork in two Chinese provinces-Yunnan and Guizhou-that are exceptions to the purported relationship between economic growth and poverty reduction.
In Yunnan, an outward-oriented developmental state, one that focuses on large-scale, urban development, has largely failed to reduce poverty, even though it succeeded in stimulating economic growth. Provincial policy shaped roads, tourism, and mining in ways that often precluded participation by poor people. By contrast, Guizhou is a micro-oriented state, one that promotes small-scale, low-skill economic opportunities-and so reduces poverty despite slow economic growth. It is no coincidence that this Guizhou approach parallels the ideas encapsulated in the "scientific development view" of China's current president Hu Jintao. After all, Hu, when Guizhou's leader, helped establish the micro-oriented state in the province. Donaldson's conclusions have implications for our understanding of development and poverty reduction, economic change in China, and the thinking behind China's policy decisions.
Published by: Cornell University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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Figures, Tables, and Maps
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Like raising a child, raising a monograph requires a village. Acknowledging adequately the contributions made by the many people who have assisted me would require nearly as much space as the book itself. A few short sen-I have received sage counsel from numerous people throughout the aca-demic world, including my community at Singapore Management Uni-...
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But while there comes the reek of wines and meats that rot inside the gates of these rich, the bones of the starving and cold are strewn along Is economic growth good for the poor? In theory, yes. With increasing wealth, the poor should benefi t along with everyone else. This argument has long prevailed in the thinking of scholars of development and poverty. ...
1Guizhou and Yunnan in Comparison
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There are not three li of level ground; there are not three sunny days in Just as a detective scrutinizes numerous suspects implicated in a murder mystery, so we must assess the extent of involvement of various candi-date factors— geographical, natural, demographic, cultural, economic, and political—in the present puzzle. For instance, if the weather was worse in ...
2Why Do Similar Areas Adopt DifferentDevelopmental Strategies?
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You take your bright path. I’ll traverse my narrow wooden bridge.The top leaders of Guizhou and Yunnan set about establishing and imple-menting strikingly dissimilar strategies to effect economic improvements. Even the goals pursued were markedly different. Why did the leaders of two similar provinces do so? After all, these leaders faced similar challenges, op-...
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In an administrative village in northwestern Guizhou, a large crowd of farmers, carrying heavy loads of fresh-cut vegetables on their back, had gathered. An informal weighing station had been set up, and the villagers waited patiently as men in a large green truck weighed and purchased their produce. This truck turned out to be a green China Post truck, like those ...
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The livelihood of the Zhaos, a Miao family living in impoverished Leishan county (the name means “Thunder Mountain”) in Guizhou was greatly en-hanced by the work of their indomitable daughter. At a relatively young age, this remarkable young woman made the arduous trek to Guangdong province, one of the wealthiest areas in China, to seek work. There, she was quite fortu-...
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Tourism is like a fi re: you can cook your meal with it, or it can burn My traveling companion and I fi nally arrived after our full-day hike through the heart of Thunder Mountain, a poor rural county in southeast-ern Guizhou. Turning the bend, we spotted the traditional wooden houses with ornate window frames of Upper Langde, the Miao village that was ...
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The man’s story was as surprising as it was haunting. In a guesthouse in the Guizhou town of Bakai early in my travels, I sat transfi xed as Mr. Liu described how he made his living. In the off-season, this farmer organized several of his neighbors to mine coal. This small group of men, armed with pickaxes and other simple tools, together went into a pit mine and extracted ...
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Go to the practical people and learn from them, then synthesize their Scholars have long promoted numerous pathways to reducing poverty in the developing world, incorporating different state strategies, capacities, and roles. Some argue that poverty reduction is best accomplished when the state removes itself as much as possible from economic decision making while pro-...
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Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2011