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Rural Villagers’ Quality of Life Improvement by Economic Self-Reliance Practices and Trust in the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy


  • Piyapong Janmaimool

    () (Environmental Social Sciences Program, Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, School of Liberal Arts, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thungkru, Bangkok 10140, Thailand)

  • Chaweewan Denpaiboon

    () (Urban Environmental Planning and Development Program, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus, Pathumthani 12121, Thailand)


The concept of economic self-reliance, widely known by Thai people as the philosophy of sufficiency economy, has been widely promoted in rural Thai societies. By practicing this philosophy, it is expected that the citizens’ quality of life and local environments could be sustainably improved. This study aims to explore the contribution of the community practices of the sufficiency economy philosophy to rural villagers’ quality of life improvement, and to investigate potential factors that determine the trust of villagers in the philosophy. With the purpose to propose strategies which could enhance trust and promote villagers’ practices of the philosophy, the study investigated influences of three relevant factors on trust towards the philosophy. Those factors included factors related to cognitive-based trust, factors related to emotional-based trust, and factors related to demographic characteristics. Questionnaire surveys and in-depth interviews with community leaders and local villagers were conducted in the Ban Jamrung community, in Thailand’s Rayong Province. The results of the statistical analysis revealed that the residents who applied the sufficiency economy philosophy in their daily lives experienced a relatively better quality of life. Additionally, it was found that trust in the philosophy could be predicted more by rational factors than by emotional factors. These findings could be utilized to develop strategies to maintain and enhance the trust of the people in the philosophy of sufficiency economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Piyapong Janmaimool & Chaweewan Denpaiboon, 2016. "Rural Villagers’ Quality of Life Improvement by Economic Self-Reliance Practices and Trust in the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy," Societies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(3), pages 1-20, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsoctx:v:6:y:2016:i:3:p:26-:d:76537

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ambrose Leung & Cheryl Kier & Tak Fung & Linda Fung & Robert Sproule, 2011. "Searching for Happiness: The Importance of Social Capital," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 443-462, June.
    2. Kocher, Martin G. & Martinsson, Peter & Matzat, Dominik & Wollbrant, Conny, 2015. "The role of beliefs, trust, and risk in contributions to a public good," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 236-244.
    3. Prasopchoke Mongsawad, 2010. "The Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy: a contribution to the theory of development," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 17(1), pages 123-143, June.
    4. Cromartie, John & von Reichert, Christiane & Arthun, Ryan, 2015. "Factors Affecting Former Residents' Returning to Rural Communities," Economic Research Report 206008, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    5. repec:eee:aumajo:v:20:y:2012:i:1:p:73-79 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item


    community trust; social trust; the philosophy of sufficiency economy; Local sustainability;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • P - Economic Systems
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
    • P4 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics


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