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Growth with equity: income inequality in Vietnam, 2002–14

Author

Listed:
  • Dwayne Benjamin

    () (University of Toronto)

  • Loren Brandt

    () (University of Toronto)

  • Brian McCaig

    () (Wilfrid Laurier University)

Abstract

Abstract We use the 2002 through 2014 Vietnam Household Living Standards Surveys to construct comparable measures of household income and estimates of income inequality over this high-growth period. We focus on two questions: How have benefits from growth been distributed; and do changes in the structure of the economy map into changes in inequality? We explore dimensions in which inequality may vary, notably urban versus rural, and by ethnic status. We also decompose inequality by income source to highlight key factors underlying the relatively low levels of inequality during this period. We find that agricultural opportunities played an important role in dampening inequality, but more important has been the steady development of wage-labor markets in both urban and rural areas. An important caveat to the generally rosy picture we paint is the deteriorating position of ethnic minorities. Finally, we draw comparisons with China and document key differences in their growth-inequality experiences.

Suggested Citation

  • Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt & Brian McCaig, 2017. "Growth with equity: income inequality in Vietnam, 2002–14," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 15(1), pages 25-46, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecin:v:15:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10888-016-9341-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s10888-016-9341-7
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Trinh Thi, Huong & Simioni, Michel & Thomas-Agnan, Christine, 2018. "Decomposition of changes in the consumption of macronutrients in Vietnam between 2004 and 2014," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 259-275.
    2. Nguyen, Trung Thanh & Nguyen, Thanh-Tung & Hoang, Viet-Ngu & Wilson, Clevo & Managi, Shunsuke, 2019. "Energy transition, poverty and inequality in Vietnam," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 536-548.
    3. Emiliano Magrini & Pierluigi Montalbano & L. Alan Winters, 2017. "Vulnerability from trade in Vietnam," Working Paper Series 2017, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    4. Andy McKay & Saurabh Singhal & Finn Tarp, 2018. "Welfare dynamics in rural Vietnam: Learning from regular, high-quality panel data," WIDER Working Paper Series 169, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Muhammad Hidayat & Ranti Darwin & M. Fikry Hadi, 2020. "Does Energy Infrastructure Reduce Inequality Inter-regional in Riau Province, Indonesia?," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 10(1), pages 160-164.
    6. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt & Brian McCaig & Nguyen Hoa, 2018. "Program participation in a targeted land distribution program and household outcomes: evidence from Vietnam," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 41-74, March.
    7. Andy McKay & Chiara Cazzuffi & Emilie Perge, 2018. "The impact of commercialization of rice on household welfare in rural Vietnam," WIDER Working Paper Series 130, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Brian McCaig & Jordan Nanowski, 2019. "Business Formalisation in Vietnam," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(5), pages 805-821, May.
    9. Nguyen, Hien & Doan, Tinh & Quang Tran, tuyen, 2017. "Contribution to income inequality by income source: A comparison across ethnic groups in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 88821, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 18 Jan 2018.
    10. Hai Anh La & Duc Anh Dang, 2018. "Income under-reporting and tax evasion: How they impact inequality in Vietnam," WIDER Working Paper Series 148, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Ian Brand-Weiner & Francesca Francavilla, 2015. "Income mobility in times of economic growth: The case of Viet Nam," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 328, OECD Publishing.
    12. Morais, Joanna & Trinh, Thi-Huong, 2017. "Impact of socioeconomic factors on nutritional diet in Vietnam from 2004 to 2014: new insights using compositional data analysis," TSE Working Papers 17-825, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    13. Duc Hong Vo & Phuong Doan Ho & Chi Minh Ho & Michael McAleer, 2019. "The Gender Wealth Gap by Household Head in Vietnam," Advances in Decision Sciences, Asia University, Taiwan, vol. 23(3), pages 122-153, September.
    14. Magrini, Emiliano & Montalbano, Pierluigi & Winters, L. Alan, 2018. "Households’ vulnerability from trade in Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 46-58.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income inequality; Vietnam; Decomposition;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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