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The Elderly Population in Vietnam during Economic Transformation: An Overview


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  • Giang, Thanh Long
  • Pfau, Wade Donald


Many studies have suggested that, under the context of high economic growth and strong flows of laborers from rural to urban areas, living arrangements of the elderly people, particularly elderly women, and familial relations will be more vulnerable to a variety of social and economic risks. This paper, using the Vietnam (Household) Living Standard Surveys from 1993 to 2004, will examine the issue by decomposing the elderly population in Vietnam in association with various aspects of aging. With an investigation of numerous variables such as education, household living arrangements, and housing conditions, it is found that familial relations have been maintained strongly in Vietnam, although social and economic contexts have changed rapidly since Doi moi. We find a relatively high proportion of elderly people living with their children, particularly married sons. In addition, they are not simply dependents in the households; conversely, they are still contributing to the households in various ways. The detailed decomposition of data on the elderly people, however, shows that women have certain disadvantages in comparison with men due to lower education, higher levels of widowhood and living alone. There is also a big disparity gap between elderly people living in urban and rural areas, and between regions in term of poverty. Another striking finding is that, during the past decade, poverty rates of the elderly people were actually lower than that of nonelderly people, and the highest poverty rates occurred with very young or very old people. This situation indicates a necessity for promoting social welfare policies from the government.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 24948.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24948

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Keywords: elderly population; gender; household living standard survey; Vietnam;

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Cited by:
  1. Giang, Long Thanh & Pfau, Wade Donald, 2009. "A Gender Perspective on Elderly Work in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 24946, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Nguyen, Trong-Ha & Liu, Amy Y.C. & Booth, Alison L., 2012. "Monetary Transfers from Children and the Labour Supply of Elderly Parents: Evidence from Vietnam," IZA Discussion Papers 6974, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Pfau, Wade Donald & Giang, Thanh Long, 2008. "Gender and Remittance Flows in Vietnam during Economic Transformation," MPRA Paper 18859, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Pfau, Wade Donald & Giang, Thanh Long, 2009. "Remittances, Living Arrangements, and the Welfare of the Elderly," MPRA Paper 19121, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Pfau, Wade Donald, 2008. "Determinants and Impacts of International Remittances on Household Welfare in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 19038, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Giang, Thanh Long & Pfau, Wade Donald, 2008. "Determinants of Elderly Poverty in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 9927, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Giang, Thanh Long & Pfau, Wade Donald, 2007. "Patterns and Determinants of Living Arrangements for the Elderly in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 24949, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Giang, Thanh Long, 2008. "Social Health Insurance in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 9926, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Pfau, Wade Donald & Giang, Thanh Long, 2008. "Gender and Remittances in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 9928, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Pfau, Wade Donald & Giang, Long Thanh, 2010. "The Growing Role of International Remittances in the Vietnamese Economy: Evidence from the Vietnam (Household) Living Standard Surveys," MPRA Paper 24945, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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