Small Works: Poverty and Economic Development in Southwestern China
|Monday, April 9, 2012|
|2:00 pm||to||4:00 pm|
SERIES: East Asia Seminar Series
Date: Mon Apr 09
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 208N, North House
Associate Professor of Political Science, School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto
CONTACT INFO: Aga Baranowska
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. This presentation focuses 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 growth-oriented development, has largely failed to reduce poverty. 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. The conclusions have implications for our understanding of development and poverty reduction, economic change in China, and the thinking behind China’s policy decisions.
John Donaldson, Associate Professor of Political Science at Singapore Management University, is the author of Small Works: Poverty and Economic Development in Southwestern China (Cornell University Press, 2011). His research focuses on seeking effective solutions to rural poverty reduction around the world, local rural poverty reduction policies in China, the transformation of China’s agrarian system, and central-provincial relations. His research has been published in such journals as World Development, International Studies Quarterly, Politics and Society, China Journal, China Quarterly and Journal of Contemporary China.
MAIN SPONSOR: Asian Institute
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