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postgraduate thesis: A new measure of child poverty in urban China : from a perspective of deprivation

TitleA new measure of child poverty in urban China : from a perspective of deprivation
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Leung, JCB
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Wang, T. [王婷豔]. (2014). A new measure of child poverty in urban China : from a perspective of deprivation. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5317030
AbstractChildhood is a critical period of the life of human beings, and experiencing poverty at this stage can seriously hinder children’s development. A reliable measure of child poverty is the essential prerequisite for monitoring children’s living situations and for providing government with sound evidence for policy making. Despite the importance of the issue of child poverty, to date there has been no effective measure of child poverty in urban China. This study is an effort to fill this gap. In contrast to the conventional income-based approach to poverty, the deprivation approach initiated by Peter Townsend in the 1970s is able to offer a direct, non-monetary, and multidimensional lens through which to examine child poverty. On the basis of international definition of child poverty and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, in this current study the author constructed a child poverty measure — Child Deprivation Indicators (CDIs) — in China’s urban context. A quantitative approach was used and a survey called Child Poverty in Urban China was carried out in Beijing from October 2011 to March 2012. Employing a multistage sampling method, 1,000 households with children were selected to participate in the survey, and the response rate was 91%. After a process of indicator selection, survey, and threshold setting, 34 indicators covering six dimensions of children’s basic needs were chosen to constitute the CDIs. The six dimensions are diet, clothing, housing conditions, household facilities, education, and social interaction. Children lacking five or more indicators because of economic constraint would be identified as being deprived. According to the study findings, 12.7% of children were living in deprivation at the time of survey. The 34 items showed differing degrees of deprivation, ranging from 0.4% to 14.0%. Education and social interaction were the two dimensions demonstrating the widest deprivation. Significant and considerable differences were found between local and migrant children both in terms of deprivation rate and severity. Migrant children are seriously disadvantaged compared with their urban peers but they are not entitled to social assistance in cities. To further examine the newly constructed child poverty measure, the author compared the CDIs with two conventional poverty measures which are based on social assistance recipient status and on family income. Findings showed that they identified different groups of poor children with moderate degrees of overlap. In spite of this, the deprivation severities of children receiving social assistance or living in low-income families were significantly higher than those of non-recipient children and children from normal-income families, implying that these three different child poverty measures are closely related to each other. Several suggestions were generated to inform policy making and practice. First, government should raise the standards of social assistance and introduce child-specific assistance programmes. Second, migrant children should be treated equally to urban children and be entitled to social assistance. Third, in practice different child poverty measures should be utilized in conjunction with each other. Finally, with minor adjustments the CDIs can be utilized in other cities.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectPoverty - China
Poor children - China
Dept/ProgramSocial Work and Social Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206476

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorLeung, JCB-
dc.contributor.authorWang, Tingyan-
dc.contributor.author王婷豔-
dc.date.accessioned2014-10-31T23:15:59Z-
dc.date.available2014-10-31T23:15:59Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationWang, T. [王婷豔]. (2014). A new measure of child poverty in urban China : from a perspective of deprivation. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5317030-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206476-
dc.description.abstractChildhood is a critical period of the life of human beings, and experiencing poverty at this stage can seriously hinder children’s development. A reliable measure of child poverty is the essential prerequisite for monitoring children’s living situations and for providing government with sound evidence for policy making. Despite the importance of the issue of child poverty, to date there has been no effective measure of child poverty in urban China. This study is an effort to fill this gap. In contrast to the conventional income-based approach to poverty, the deprivation approach initiated by Peter Townsend in the 1970s is able to offer a direct, non-monetary, and multidimensional lens through which to examine child poverty. On the basis of international definition of child poverty and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, in this current study the author constructed a child poverty measure — Child Deprivation Indicators (CDIs) — in China’s urban context. A quantitative approach was used and a survey called Child Poverty in Urban China was carried out in Beijing from October 2011 to March 2012. Employing a multistage sampling method, 1,000 households with children were selected to participate in the survey, and the response rate was 91%. After a process of indicator selection, survey, and threshold setting, 34 indicators covering six dimensions of children’s basic needs were chosen to constitute the CDIs. The six dimensions are diet, clothing, housing conditions, household facilities, education, and social interaction. Children lacking five or more indicators because of economic constraint would be identified as being deprived. According to the study findings, 12.7% of children were living in deprivation at the time of survey. The 34 items showed differing degrees of deprivation, ranging from 0.4% to 14.0%. Education and social interaction were the two dimensions demonstrating the widest deprivation. Significant and considerable differences were found between local and migrant children both in terms of deprivation rate and severity. Migrant children are seriously disadvantaged compared with their urban peers but they are not entitled to social assistance in cities. To further examine the newly constructed child poverty measure, the author compared the CDIs with two conventional poverty measures which are based on social assistance recipient status and on family income. Findings showed that they identified different groups of poor children with moderate degrees of overlap. In spite of this, the deprivation severities of children receiving social assistance or living in low-income families were significantly higher than those of non-recipient children and children from normal-income families, implying that these three different child poverty measures are closely related to each other. Several suggestions were generated to inform policy making and practice. First, government should raise the standards of social assistance and introduce child-specific assistance programmes. Second, migrant children should be treated equally to urban children and be entitled to social assistance. Third, in practice different child poverty measures should be utilized in conjunction with each other. Finally, with minor adjustments the CDIs can be utilized in other cities.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshPoverty - China-
dc.subject.lcshPoor children - China-
dc.titleA new measure of child poverty in urban China : from a perspective of deprivation-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5317030-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSocial Work and Social Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5317030-

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