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

See all articles by Reza Hasmath

Reza Hasmath

University of Alberta - Department of Political Science

Andrew W. MacDonald

University of Louisville - Center for Asian Democracy

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Hasmath, Reza and MacDonald, Andrew W., Beyond Special Privileges: The Discretionary Treatment of Ethnic Minorities in China's Welfare System (2017). Journal of Social Policy, 46, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2818951 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2818951

Reza Hasmath (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Political Science ( email )

10-16 Henry Marshall Tory Building
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H4
Canada

Andrew W. MacDonald

University of Louisville - Center for Asian Democracy ( email )

Stevenson Hall, Room 202
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292
United States

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