Public Engagement

General Public

Welfare, Work, and Poverty: Social Assistance in China

Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Hirshon Suite Room I205 55 W 13th St NY New York, NY 10011

Qin Gao's new book, Welfare, Work, and Poverty, provides the first systematic and comprehensive evaluation of the impacts and effectiveness of China's primary social assistance program -- Minimum Livelihood Guarantee, or Dibao -- since its inception in 1993. Dibao serves the dual function of providing a basic safety net for the poor and maintaining social and political stability. Despite currently being the world's largest welfare program in terms of population coverage, evidence on Dibao's performance has been lacking. This book offers important new empirical evidence and draws policy lessons that are timely and useful for both China and beyond. Welfare, Work, and Poverty is essential reading for political scientists, economists, sociologists, public policy researchers, and social workers interested in learning about and understanding contemporary China.


Qin Gao is a professor at the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW), a faculty affiliate of the Columbia Population Research Center and of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, and the director of Columbia University’s China Center for Social Policy. She is also an Academic Board Member of the China Institute for Income Distribution at Beijing Normal University and a Public Intellectual Fellow of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. Before joining the CSSW faculty, she was a professor and the Coordinator of International Initiatives at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service. Dr. Gao’s current research examines the following topics: 1) the Chinese welfare state in transition: size, structure, and redistributive effects; 2) effectiveness and impacts of dibao, China’s primary social assistance program, and other anti-poverty policies and programs; 3) gender inequality in time use in China and beyond; 4) social protection for rural-to-urban migrants in China and Asian American immigrants; and 5) cross-national comparative social policies and programs. Dr. Gao’s work has been supported by multiple national and international funding sources such as the National Social Science Fund of China, UNICEF, and the World Bank.

Limited seating, please RSVP

Presented by The New School's India China Institute. 

Event Type

Lectures and Panel Discussions


General Public


India China Institute


International and Global, Politics, Policy and Government




Economics, Politics





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