IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Poverty, Inequality and Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam


  • Katsushi Imai
  • Raghav Gaiha


The present study examines how and why ethnic minorities are poorer than ethnic majorities in Vietnam using the VHLSS data for 2002 and 2004. First, the analysis confirms that households belonging to the ethnic minority groups are not only poorer but also more vulnerable to various shocks than those in the ethnic majority groups, namely the Kinh and the Chinese. Second, household composition (e.g. dependency burden), education, land holding, and location are important determinants of expenditure and poverty, whilst there is some diversity among different ethnic groups. Finally, the decomposition analyses reveal that the ethnic minorities are poorer not necessarily because they have more disadvantaged household characteristics (e.g. educational attainment or location), but, more importantly, because the returns to the characteristics are much lower for ethnic minorities than for majorities. Government policies to reduce structural differences between ethnic majorities and minorities are imperative to address the disparities in returns to endowments between them.

Suggested Citation

  • Katsushi Imai & Raghav Gaiha, 2007. "Poverty, Inequality and Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 1007, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  • Handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:1007

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ira N. Gang & Kunal Sen & Myeong-Su Yun, 2006. "Poverty in Rural India: Ethnicity and Caste," Departmental Working Papers 200634, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    2. Yun, Myeong-Su, 2004. "Decomposing differences in the first moment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 275-280, February.
    3. van de Walle, Dominique & Gunewardena, Dileni, 2001. "Sources of ethnic inequality in Viet Nam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 177-207, June.
    4. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    5. Adam Fforde, 2005. "Persuasion: Reflections on economics, data, and the 'homogeneity assumption'," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 63-91.
    6. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Gradín, 2016. "Poverty and ethnicity in Asian countries," Chapters,in: The Asian ‘Poverty Miracle’, chapter 8, pages 253-320 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Thanh Bui & Katsushi S. Imai, 2017. "Determinants of Rural-urban Inequality in Vietnam: Detailed Decomposition Analyses Based on Unconditional Quantile Regressions," Discussion Paper Series DP2017-01, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, revised Jun 2017.
    3. Arouri, Mohamed & Nguyen, Cuong & Youssef, Adel Ben, 2015. "Natural Disasters, Household Welfare, and Resilience: Evidence from Rural Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 59-77.
    4. Quang Tran, Tuyen & Hong Nguyen, Son & Van Vu, Huong & Quoc Nguyen, Viet, 2014. "Determinants of poverty among ethnic minorities in the Northwest region, Vietnam," MPRA Paper 59144, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Oct 2014.
    5. Hardeweg, Bernd & Wagener, Andreas & Waibel, Hermann, 2013. "A distributional approach to comparing vulnerability, applied to rural provinces in Thailand and Vietnam," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 53-65.
    6. Bui, Tuan & Nguyen, Cuong & Pham, Phuong, 2015. "Poverty among ethnic minorities: transition process, inequality and economic growth," MPRA Paper 68924, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1413-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Carlos Gradín, 2016. "Poverty and ethnicity in Asian countries," Chapters,in: The Asian ‘Poverty Miracle’, chapter 8, pages 253-320 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Kang, Woojin & Imai, Katsushi S., 2012. "Pro-poor growth, poverty and inequality in rural Vietnam," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 527-539.
    10. Damir Esenaliev & Susan Steiner, 2012. "Are Uzbeks Better off than Kyrgyz?: Measuring and Decomposing Horizontal Inequality," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1252, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Tran Quang, Tuyen, 2014. "Determinants of nonfarm participation among ethnic minorities in the Northwest Mountains, Vietnam," MPRA Paper 59158, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 08 Oct 2014.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:1007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rowena Harding). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.