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Changes in urban inequality in Vietnam: 1992-1998


  • Liu, Amy Y.C.


The urban inequality in Vietnam has declined in the 1990s. Using the regression-based decomposition methods [Fields, G.S., 2003. Accounting for income inequality and its change: a new method, with application to the distribution of earnings in the United States. In: Polachek, S.W. (Ed.), Worker Well Being and Public Policy, Research in Labor Economics, vol. 22. Elsevier, New Jersey, pp. 1-38; Yun, M.S., 2006. Earnings inequality in U.S., 1969-99: comparing inequality using earnings equations. Review of Income and Wealth 52, 127-144.], we identify the contributing factors and distinguish between changes of the inequality due to changing returns to characteristics and distribution of these characteristics. We find that the changing returns to regional factors and to physical assets are behind the decline in urban inequality. However, the decline hides adverse changes from human capital and unemployment. Policies to encourage regional labor market integration, improve the quality of and equal access to education are important to make the equal urban distribution sustainable in the new millennium.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Amy Y.C., 2008. "Changes in urban inequality in Vietnam: 1992-1998," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 410-425, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecosys:v:32:y:2008:i:4:p:410-425

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Glewwe, Paul & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 1999. "The Role of the Private Sector in Education in Vietnam: Evidence From the Vietnam Living Standards Survey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 887-902, May.
    2. Nguyen, Binh T. & Albrecht, James W. & Vroman, Susan B. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 2007. "A quantile regression decomposition of urban-rural inequality in Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 466-490, July.
    3. Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "How Much Inequality Can We Explain? A Methodology and an Application to the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 421-430, March.
    4. Knight, John B & Song, Lina, 1991. "The Determinants of Urban Income Inequality in China," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(2), pages 123-154, May.
    5. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    6. Khan, Azizur Rahman & Riskin, Carl, 2001. "Inequality and Poverty in China in the Age of Globalization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195136494, June.
    7. Svejnar, Jan, 1996. "Enterprises and Workers in the Transition: Econometric Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 123-127, May.
    8. John Knight & Lina Song, 2003. "Increasing urban wage inequality in China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(4), pages 597-619, December.
    9. Dominique van de Walle, 2003. "Are Returns to Investment Lower for the Poor? Human and Physical Capital Interactions in Rural Vietnam," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 636-653, November.
    10. Falaris, Evangelos M., 2003. "The effect of survey attrition in longitudinal surveys: evidence from Peru, Cote d'Ivoire and Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 133-157, February.
    11. W. Neil Adger, 1999. "Exploring income inequality in rural, coastal Viet Nam," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(5), pages 96-119.
    12. Xin Meng, 2004. "Economic Restructuring and Income Inequality in Urban China," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(3), pages 357-379, September.
    13. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
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