PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2023, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (4): 670-686.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2023.04.005

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Policy effect and differentiation of targeted poverty alleviation from the perspective of livelihood sustainability:Taking Shizhu County, Wuling Mountains as an example

LIU Qian1(), LEI Yangyang1, YU Zhonglei2, TANG Honglin3, YE Wenli3, YANG Xinjun3,*()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Surface Process and Environment Remote Sensing in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing 401331, China
    2. Key Research Institute of Yellow River Civilization and Sustainable Development, Collaborative Innovation Center on Yellow River Civilization Jointly Built by Henan Province and Ministry of Education, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, Henan, China
    3. Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Earth Surface System and Environmental Carrying Capacity, Xi'an 710127, China
  • Received:2022-11-09 Revised:2023-03-05 Online:2023-04-28 Published:2023-04-27
  • Contact: YANG Xinjun;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901206);Youth Foundation of Humanities and Social Sciences of Ministry of Education of China(19YJCZH006);Education Commission Science and technology Foundation of Chongqing(KJQN202000524);Education Commission Humanities and Social Science Foundation of Chongqing(22SKGH104)


Consolidating and expanding the achievements of poverty alleviation is an important task during the 14th Five-Year Plan period. Improving the livelihood sustainability of farming households is the key to prevent the return to poverty and achieve high-quality development in poverty alleviation areas. From the perspective of livelihood sustainability, a systematic evaluation of the effects of the targeted poverty alleviation (TPA) policy provides an important basis for achieving these goals. In this study, an evaluation framework was constructed from the dimensions of livelihood capital, livelihood environment, and intergenerational development capacity. Taking Shizhu County in the Wuling Mountains as the study area, this research used the difference-in-differences (DID) and propensity score matching (PSM)-DID methods to quantify the effects of the TPA policy and discussed the differentiation of policy effects. The findings are: 1) The TPA policy improved the livelihood sustainability level of farming households by 20.5%, and improved the livelihood capital, livelihood environment, and intergenerational development capacity by 21.3%, 23.9% and 15.8%, respectively. The improvement of livelihood environment was more prominent, while the improvement of intergenerational development capacity was relatively weak. 2) The TPA policy had a greater and significant effect on farming households with multiple livelihood strategies, followed by agriculture-oriented households and off-farm employment-oriented households, while subsidy-dependent households with "blood transfusion" assistance were marginalized. The TPA policy aggravated the differentiation of livelihood sustainability among groups. 3) The effect of the TPA policy showed spatial specificity. Compared with Wangchang Town and Huangshui Town that had better basic economic conditions, TPA had a higher and more significant impact on Longsha Town that has locational advantages and Zhongyi Town that was at a deeper poverty level. 4) Countermeasures and recommendations were put forward to consolidate the achievements of poverty alleviation from the aspects of continuously strengthening education and technology input, intensifying efforts to alleviate poverty in remote areas, and providing policy-based guidance for the governance of poor marginal groups. The research provides a theoretical basis for improving the matching and accuracy of policies to consolidate the achievements of poverty alleviation, which may help deepen the understanding of China's anti-poverty theories and practice.

Key words: targeted poverty alleviation, sustainable livelihoods, policy effect, DID, Wuling Mountains concentrated poverty area