China’s role in mitigating poverty and inequality in Africa: an empirical query

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Using data from 1995 to 2017, this article shows that China plays a positive role in mitigating poverty and inequality in Africa. Namely, imports from China, especially imports of machinery and equipment but not manufactured goods, alleviate substantially poverty in the region. In addition, China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) and China’s engagement in infrastructure projects in the continent help not only eradicate poverty, but also narrow income inequality. However, total exports or exports of raw materials and fuels to China are irrelevant to income distribution. We also compare these impacts with the impacts of economic links with the United States (US) and find insignificant effects of the US’s imports and FDI on income distribution but some positive effects of exports to the US on poverty in Africa. Our findings are robust when both the fractional nature of poverty and inequality indices and their correlation are taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Asia Pacific Economy
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)645-669
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 02.10.2019

    Research areas

  • Africa, China, fractional probit, inequality, poverty
  • Economics