Beyond Special Privileges: The Discretionary Treatment of Ethnic Minorities in China's Welfare System
Journal of Social Policy, 46, 2017
20 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2016 Last revised: 2 Jun 2017
Date Written: 2017
The social welfare of ethnic minorities is a contested subject with a deep politicalized history in contemporary China. This article uses a new large dataset solely looking at ethnic minorities in China, to analyze the impact and outcomes that new urban social and welfare schemes – with notable attention to the basic medical insurance, and the minimum livelihood guarantee allowance (dibao) – play in the livelihoods of minorities. The data suggests that contrary to the pro-minority rhetoric of the state, minority participation in social welfare programs is predicated on the incentive set of local government officials. These findings have strong implications for constructing future social welfare policies, and understanding their potential differential impact on ethnic minority cohorts.
Keywords: China, Ethnic Minorities, Social Welfare Policies, Medical Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, Minimum Livelihood Guarantee (dibao), Pension
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