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Poverty identification: practice and policy implications in Vietnam

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  • Cuong Viet Nguyen
  • Anh Tran

Abstract

type="main"> To identify poor households, the government of Vietnam applies a combination of proxy means tests and quick collection of income data. This paper examines how well the government's poverty identification reaches the really poor in Vietnam. It is found that there is a large difference between the poverty rate for provinces and districts reported by the government and the rates estimated using expenditure and income data from independent household surveys. There is also a large difference between the poverty status of households identified by local authorities and the poverty status identified by income or expenditure data. More than 50 per cent of the poor households identified by local authorities are not poor in terms of income or expenditure measures. A better identification approach would be to use only proxy means tests and not income data collected using the simple questionnaire.

Suggested Citation

  • Cuong Viet Nguyen & Anh Tran, 2014. "Poverty identification: practice and policy implications in Vietnam," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 28(1), pages 116-136, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:apacel:v:28:y:2014:i:1:p:116-136
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/apel.12046
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    1. David E. Sahn & David Stifel, 2003. "Exploring Alternative Measures of Welfare in the Absence of Expenditure Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(4), pages 463-489, December.
    2. Chris Elbers & Jean O. Lanjouw & Peter Lanjouw, 2003. "Micro--Level Estimation of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 355-364, January.
    3. Vivi Alatas & Abhijit Banerjee & Rema Hanna & Benjamin A. Olken & Julia Tobias, 2012. "Targeting the Poor: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1206-1240, June.
    4. Houssou, Nazaire & Zeller, Manfred & Alcaraz V., Gabriela & Johannsen, Julia & Schwarze, Stefan, 2010. "How Best to Target the Poor? An operational targeting of the poor using indicator-based proxy means tests," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 95780, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    5. David P. Coady & Susan W. Parker, 2009. "Targeting Performance under Self-selection and Administrative Targeting Methods," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(3), pages 559-587, April.
    6. Grosh, M.E. & Baker, J.L., 1995. "Proxy Means Tests for Targetting Social Programs. Simulations and Speculation," Papers 118, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    7. Nguyen Viet, Cuong, 2005. "Targeting the Poor in Vietnam using a Small Area Estimation Method," MPRA Paper 25761, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nguyen, Cuong & Nguyen, Lam, 2017. "Intra-generational and intergenerational mobility in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 80083, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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