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Rural Non-farm Dynamics: Occupational Ladders and Earnings Mobility in Thailand


  • Chawanote, Chayanee
  • Barrett, Christopher B.


This study explores occupational and earnings dynamics of rural non-farm economy (RNFE) in Thailand. Using occupational transition matrices, we finds significant occupational transitions in rural Thailand, mainly involving moving to non-farm employment, rather than starting businesses. Moreover, results from conditional micro mobility regressions show that transitions into the RNFE are associated with statistically significant earnings gains while transitions into farming are associated with earnings losses. The cumulative distribution of income indicates that non-farm employers’ earnings distribution stochastically dominates the others, signaling an occupational ladder. However, only a small number of individuals become non-farm employers, reflecting the difficulty involved in starting, expanding or even keeping a rural non-farm business.

Suggested Citation

  • Chawanote, Chayanee & Barrett, Christopher B., 2011. "Rural Non-farm Dynamics: Occupational Ladders and Earnings Mobility in Thailand," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103879, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103879

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    1. Camilo Mondragón-Vélez & Ximena Peña, 2010. "Business Ownership and Self-Employment in Developing Economies: The Colombian Case," NBER Chapters,in: International Differences in Entrepreneurship, pages 89-127 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar, 2010. "International Differences in Entrepreneurship," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lern08-2.
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    earnings mobility; non-farm employment; non-farm business; occupational choice; Community/Rural/Urban Development; International Development; Labor and Human Capital;

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