Mengbing ZHU (Laboratoire GATE)
In the context of China, many factors may affect household consumption, including not only those related to the tremendous changes in the labor market (e.g. the increasing number of rural to urban migration), but also unprecedented changes in the accumulation of household wealth. Until now, systematic evidence is missing on how consumption is affected by migration and household wealth. Moreover, regarding rural household consumption, another related issue, consumption poverty, is of utmost importance. Yet, so far little has been shown on the targeting performance of poverty alleviation programs such as the rural Dibao Program.
The first chapter concentrates on the impact of migration and remittances on educational investment in rural China. Using household data from the China Household Income Project 2013, we find that they both play a deterring role on educational investment, but the amount of remittances can act as an insurance mechanism. The second chapter focuses on the wealth effect on consumption and its changes between 2002 and 2013. It shows that the marginal propensity to consume out of net wealth is highly significant and increases over time for both urban and rural households. Moreover, housing wealth effects are strong, especially for rural households, while the estimated elasticity of consumption with respect to financial assets is much smaller and elusive over the two years. The third chapter evaluates the targeting performance of the rural Dibao program. It highlights quite large targeting errors using traditional income identification criteria. However, after taking into account the multi-dimensional identification criterion, the targeting effectiveness increases although the coverage rate remains low.
Université Normale de Pékin - Chine