Journal articles published externally

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These are journal articles by World Bank authors published externally.

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  • Publication
    The Pattern of Growth and Poverty Reduction in China
    (2010) Montalvo, Jose G.; Ravallion, Martin
    China's rapid economic growth has been the proximate cause of the huge reduction in the incidence of poverty since 1980. Yet, the growth process has been highly uneven across sectors and regions. We test whether the pattern of China's growth mattered to poverty reduction using a new provincial panel data set constructed for this purpose. Our econometric tests support the view that the primary sector (mainly agriculture) has been the main driving force in poverty reduction. We note a number of similarities, and differences, with India.
  • Publication
    The Impact of Migration on Rural Poverty and Inequality : A Case Study in China
    (2010) Zhu, Nong; Luo, Xubei
    Large numbers of agricultural labor moved from the countryside to cities after the economic reforms in China. Migration and remittances play an important role in transforming the structure of rural household income. This article examines the impact of rural-to-urban migration on rural poverty and inequality in a mountainous area of Hubei province using the data of a 2002 household survey. Since migration income is a potential substitute for farm income, we present counterfactual scenarios of what rural income, poverty, and inequality would have been in the absence of migration. Our results show that, by providing alternatives to households with lower marginal labor productivity in agriculture, migration leads to an increase in rural income. In contrast to many studies that suggest that the increasing share of nonfarm income in total income widens inequality, this article offers support for the hypothesis that migration tends to have egalitarian effects on rural income for three reasons: (1) migration is rational self-selection--farmers with higher expected return in agricultural activities and/or in local nonfarm activities choose to remain in the countryside while those with higher expected return in urban nonfarm sectors migrate; (2) households facing binding constraints of land supply are more likely to migrate; (3) poorer households benefit disproportionately from migration.
  • Publication
    Chronic and Transient Poverty: Measurement and Estimation, with Evidence from China
    (2010) Duclos, Jean-Yves; Araar, Abdelkrim; Giles, John
    The paper contributes to the measurement of poverty and vulnerability in three ways. First, it proposes a new approach to separating poverty into chronic and transient components. Second, it provides corrections for the statistical biases introduced when using a small number of periods to estimate the importance of vulnerability and transient poverty. Third, it applies these tools to the measurement of chronic and transient poverty in China using a rich panel data set that extends over 17 years. Alternative measurement techniques are found to yield significantly different estimates of the relative importance of chronic and transient poverty. The precision of the estimates is also considerably enhanced by simple statistical corrections.
  • Publication
    Extending Health Insurance to the Rural Population : An Impact Evaluation of China's New Cooperative Medical Scheme
    (2009) Wagstaff, Adam; Lindelow, Magnus; Juncheng, Qian
    In 2003, China launched a heavily subsidized voluntary health insurance program for rural residents. We combine differences-in-differences with matching methods to obtain impact estimates, using data collected from program administrators, health facilities and households. The scheme has increased outpatient and inpatient utilization, and has reduced the cost of deliveries. But it has not reduced out-of-pocket expenses per outpatient visit or inpatient spell. Out-of-pocket payments overall have not been reduced. We find heterogeneity across income groups and implementing counties. The program has increased ownership of expensive equipment among central township health centers but has had no impact on cost per case.
  • Publication
    China's Health System and Its Reform : A Review of Recent Studies
    (2009) Wagstaff, Adam; Lindelow, Magnus
    This paper provides a survey of the recent empirical research on China's old health system (i.e. prior to the spate of reforms beginning in 2003). It argues that this research has enhanced our understanding of the system prior to 2003, in some cases reinforcing conclusions (e.g., the demand-inducement associated with perverse incentives) while in other cases suggesting a slightly less clear storyline (e.g., the link between insurance and out-of-pocket spending). It also concludes that the research to date points to the importance of careful evaluation of the current reforms, and its potential to modify policies as the rollout proceeds. Finally, it argues that the research on the pre-2003 system suggests that while the recently announced further reforms are a step in the right direction, the hoped-for improvements in China's health system will far more likely occur if the reforms become less timid in certain key areas, namely provider payments and intergovernmental fiscal relations.
  • Publication
    Income Growth, Inequality and Poverty Reduction : A Case Study of Eight Provinces in China
    (2009) Goh, Chor-ching; Luo, Xubei; Zhu, Nong
    This paper examines the growth performance and income inequality in eight Chinese provinces during the period of 1989-2004 using the China Health and Nutrition Survey data. It shows that income grew for all segments of the population, and as a result, poverty incidence has fallen. However, income growth has been uneven, most rapidly in coastal areas, and among the educated. A decomposition analysis based on household income determination suggests that income growth can largely be attributed to the increase in returns to education and to the shift of employment into secondary and tertiary sectors.
  • Publication
    Are There Lessons for Africa from China's Success against Poverty?
    (2009) Ravallion, Martin
    At the outset of China's reform period, the country had a far higher poverty rate than Africa as a whole. Within five years that was no longer true. This paper tries to explain how China escaped from a situation in which extreme poverty persisted due to failed and unpopular policies. While acknowledging that Africa faces constraints that China did not, two lessons for Africa stand out. The first is the initial importance of productivity growth in smallholder agriculture, which will require both market-based incentives and public support. The second is the role played by strong leadership and a capable public administration at all levels of government.
  • Publication
    Symposium on Health Economics Issues in China: The Role of For-Profit Hospitals in Medical Expenditures: Evidence from Aggregate Data in China
    (2009) Liu, Gordon G.; Li, Lin; Hou, Xiaohui; Xu, Judy; Hyslop, Daniel
    The health care delivery system in China, which is dominated by state hospitals, is being increasingly challenged by public concerns: it is too expensive and too inaccessible, a complaint commonly phrased as "kai bin nan, kan bin gui" in Chinese. As the penetration of for-profit hospitals has gradually increased, there is a growing need for policy research to assess their impact on medical spending from the patient perspective. Using panel data at the provincial level in China, this paper examines the impact of the penetration of for-profit hospitals on average medical expenditures for both outpatient and inpatient services in public general hospitals. Based on fixed-effect model estimates, the study shows that the penetration of for-profit hospitals has lowered the average medical expenditures for both inpatient and outpatient services across regions, especially for pharmaceuticals. Together with other results, this study finds no evidence that private for-profit hospitals drive up average medical expenditures while serving their profit-maximization objectives. Rather, they help increase the market supply of health care, which in turn better serves the increasing demand.
  • Publication
    Reranking and Pro-poor Growth: Decompositions for China and Vietnam
    (2009) Wagstaff, Adam
    Reranking in the move from one income distribution to another makes it impossible to infer from changes in Lorenz and generalised Lorenz curves how income growth among those toward the bottom of the initial income distribution compares to that among those toward the top, and whether there has been income growth among those who were initially poor. Decompositions allowing for reranking indicate that economic growth in China and Vietnam has been better for households who were initially poor than changes in the Lorenz and generalised Lorenz curve and poverty growth curve would suggest.
  • Publication
    Health Service Delivery in China : A Literature Review
    (2008) Eggleston, Karen; Ling, Li; Qingyue, Meng; Lindelow, Magnus; Wagstaff, Adam
    We report the results of a review of the Chinese- and English-language literatures on service delivery in China, asking how well China's health-care providers perform and what determines their performance. Although data and methodological limitations suggest caution in drawing conclusions, a critical reading of the available evidence suggests that current health service delivery in China leaves room for improvement, in terms of quality, responsiveness to patients, efficiency, cost escalation, and equity. The literature suggests that these problems will not be solved by simply shifting ownership to the private sector or by simply encouraging providers--public and private--to compete with one another for individual patients. By contrast, substantial improvements could be (and in some places have already been) made by changing the way providers are paid--shifting away from fee-for-service and the distorted price schedule. Other elements of active purchasing by insurers could further improve outcomes. Rigorous evaluations, based on richer micro-level data, could considerably strengthen the evidence base for service delivery policy in China.