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Politics and Policy in China's Social Assistance ReformProviding for the Poor?$
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Daniel R. Hammond

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474420112

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420112.001.0001

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Urban Dibao: The Resolution of Unwanted and Unintended Outcomes, 1999–2003

Urban Dibao: The Resolution of Unwanted and Unintended Outcomes, 1999–2003

(p.67) Chapter 3 Urban Dibao: The Resolution of Unwanted and Unintended Outcomes, 1999–2003
Politics and Policy in China's Social Assistance Reform

Daniel R. Hammond

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter first highlights the problems faced by both central and local government in shaping dibao into the programme it was intended to be after the initial national roll out in 1997. The discussion focuses on three unintended outcomes which attracted the most from policy actors: exclusion; resource dependencies; and variation. This is then followed by two discussions related to how the features of fragmented authoritarianism contributed to the outcomes discussed. The first discussion argues that fragmented authoritarianism, especially the structure of the state and decision making, contributed to the emergence of what I identify as unintended consequences. I will argue that the MCA struck a compromise with local government in the 1990s achieving implementation of dibao systems by allowing local variation. The second discussion argues that the MCA played a game where policy goals sought by Premier Zhu Rongji, primarily the moving of xiagang workers to dibao, were used to also resolve some of the unintended consequences which had emerged post-1999. This shows that while the assumptions of fragmented authoritarianism hold, especially the importance of resource allocation and hierarchical authority, policy actors lower down the hierarchy cannot use these circumstances to achieve their own goals.

Keywords:   Zhu Rongji, Xiagang, Dibao, Minimum livelihood guarantee, Urban, Poverty, Resources

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