Environment and Development Economics



Are the poor benefiting from China's land conservation program? 1


EMI UCHIDA a1, JINTAO XU a2, ZHIGANG XU a3 and SCOTT ROZELLE a4
a1 Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, University of Rhode Island, 219 Coastal Institute, 1 Greenhouse Road, Kingston, RI 02881, USA. Tel: +1-401-874-9196. Email: emi@uri.edu
a2 Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 5th Floor, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Datun Road, Anwai, Beijing, China 100101.
a3 Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 5th Floor, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Datun Road, Anwai, Beijing, China 100101.
a4 Helen F. Farnsworth Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, Encina Hall East, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Article author query
uchida e   [Google Scholar] 
xu j   [Google Scholar] 
xu z   [Google Scholar] 
rozelle s   [Google Scholar] 
 

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of the largest conservation set-aside program in the developing world: China's Grain for Green program, on poverty alleviation in rural areas. Based on a large-scale survey, we find that the program was implemented mostly in the areas of China that are fairly poor. In addition, we show that income from livestock activities and some types of asset holdings of participants have increased significantly more than those of non-participants (due to program effects). Only weak evidence is provided demonstrating that participating households have begun to shift their labor into the off-farm sectors. Overall, the results suggest that the program has been moderately successful in achieving its poverty alleviation objectives.

(Published Online July 25 2007)



Footnotes

1 The authors are grateful for the assistance during the fieldwork part of this study provided by Yazhen Gong and other members of the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. An earlier version of the paper was presented at UC Davis and the 2004 AAEA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. We thank Keijiro Otsuka, Doug Miller, Aaron Smith, Bryan Lohmar, participants of the seminars, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and suggestions. The authors acknowledge the support from Ford Foundation. Ditto National Science Foundation of China (70024001) for financial assistance. RI AES Contribution No. 5105