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What Determines Learning among Kinh and Ethnic Minority Students in Vietnam? An Analysis of the Round 2 Young Lives Data


  • Paul Glewwe
  • Qihui Chen
  • Bhagyashree Katare


An analysis of the Young Lives data collected in 2006, involving a younger cohort (aged 5) and an older cohort (aged 12), yields three important findings regarding the Kinh–ethnic minority gaps in mathematics and reading skills in Vietnam. First, large disparities exist even before children start primary school. Second, language may play an important role: Vietnamese-speaking ethnic minority children scored much higher than their non-Vietnamese-speaking counterparts, even though tests could be taken in any language the child chooses. Third, Blinder–Oaxaca decompositions indicate that higher parental education among Kinh children explains about one third of the gap for both cohorts. For the older cohort, Kinh households' higher income explains 0.2–0.3 standard deviations (SDs) of the gap (1.3–1.5 SDs). More time in school, less time spent working, and better nutritional status each explain about 0.1 SDs of the mathematics score gap; Kinh children's more years of schooling explains about 0.3 SDs of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test score gap.

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  • Paul Glewwe & Qihui Chen & Bhagyashree Katare, 2015. "What Determines Learning among Kinh and Ethnic Minority Students in Vietnam? An Analysis of the Round 2 Young Lives Data," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies 201539, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:appswp:201539

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. World Bank, 2004. "Vietnam : Reading and Mathematics Assessment Study, Volume 3," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15649, The World Bank.
    2. World Bank, 2009. "Country Social Analysis : Ethnicity and Development in Vietnam - Summary report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3093, The World Bank.
    3. 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.
    4. World Bank, 2003. "Vietnam Development Report 2004 : Poverty," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14651, The World Bank.
    5. 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.
    6. Nguyen, Hoa-Thi-Minh & Kompas, Tom & Breusch, Trevor & Ward, Michael B., 2017. "Language, Mixed Communes, and Infrastructure: Sources of Inequality and Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 145-162.
    7. Paul Glewwe & Nisha Agrawal & David Dollar, 2004. "Economic Growth, Poverty, and Household Welfare in Vietnam," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15010, 09-2019.
    8. World Bank, 2009. "Country Social Analysis : Ethnicity and Development in Vietnam - Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3094, The World Bank.
    9. Dang, Hai-Anh, 2007. "The determinants and impact of private tutoring classes in Vietnam," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 683-698, December.
    10. World Bank, 2004. "Vietnam : Reading and Mathematics Assessment Study, Volume 2," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15648, The World Bank.
    11. Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Gibbons, Donna M, 1993. "The Determinants and Consequences of the Placement of Government Programs in Indonesia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 7(3), pages 319-348, September.
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    cognitive skills; ethnic minority; Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition; Vietnam; education;

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