Regional Sustainability ›› 2020, Vol. 1 ›› Issue (1): 68-81.doi: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.07.002

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Rural households’ livelihood responses to industry-based poverty alleviation as a sustainable route out of poverty

Jianjun Ding, Zhang Wang*(), Yanhong Liu, Fangwei Yu   

  1. Business School, Jishou University, Jishou 416000, China
  • Received:2020-05-30 Revised:2020-08-18 Accepted:2020-08-24 Online:2020-01-20 Published:2020-09-30
  • Contact: Zhang Wang


Industrialization is one way to achieve a sustainable route out of poverty. During the implementation of industry-based poverty alleviation projects, rural households’ livelihood responses to change are crucial. A stronger livelihood response is conducive to multidimensional poverty relief due to industry-based poverty alleviation projects. Effective poverty alleviation can also stimulate stronger household responses. There is a positive cycle between livelihood response and multidimensional poverty relief effects that can help achieve sustainable poverty alleviation goals. Using a synergistic perspective on the relationship between “people-industry-land”, this paper explains the poverty alleviation logic connecting livelihood response, multidimensional poverty relief, and sustainable routes out of poverty by constructing a four-dimensional livelihood response measurement system with three elements of intensity. We analyzed survey data collected from 2363 households from 4 sample counties in 4 contiguous poverty-stricken areas, and measured and compared the characteristics of rural households’ livelihood responses and the factors influencing poverty alleviation projects. Rural households’ livelihood responses in four sample counties were moderate. The four dimensions of responses were ranked as livelihood strategy response, livelihood space response, livelihood output response, and livelihood capital response. The three intensities indicated that the perception and willingness elements of livelihood response were very similar, but there was a big gap between those elements and livelihood response actions. At the group level, poor households had higher and more consistent livelihood response than non-poor households. External environment factors (such as location, industry type, village organizational ability, and village atmosphere) and internal family factors (such as resource endowment, income sources, health, education, labor quantity, policy trust, credit availability, and social networks) had a significant impact on households’ livelihood response. However, this impact varied across different dimensions and had different intensities. This paper proposes a multidimensional poverty relief mechanism and suggests sustainable routes out of poverty.

Key words: Industry-based poverty alleviation, Livelihood response, Poverty relief mechanism, Sustainable route out of poverty, Sustainable livelihood framework, Livelihood response index