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Crisis, Social Sector And Income Distribution In Some Southeast Asian Countries


  • Mukhopadhaya, Pundarik

    (National University of Singapore)


This paper examines the social impact of the recent Asian Economic crisis, drawing on the results of studies in two countries: Singapore and Thailand. The economic crisis had interrupted three decades of steady growth that had been accompanied by remarkable progress in poverty reduction and a betterment of social indicators like health and education. In particular, this crisis is feared to have a large negative effect on household welfare. It is found that absolute poverty became more acute in Thailand and with the wake of unemployment and decrease in real wages, income inequality increased both in Singapore and Thailand. This paper has examined the effect of crisis on other social indicators, such as school enrolments, dropouts and health. It is observed that the crisis has exposed significant limitations in the ability of social safety nets to cope with a negative shock of this magnitude, and manifested the need for better targeting to help households tide over their difficulties.

Suggested Citation

  • Mukhopadhaya, Pundarik, 2002. "Crisis, Social Sector And Income Distribution In Some Southeast Asian Countries," EIJS Working Paper Series 161, Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:eijswp:0161

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Asher, Mukul G. & Karunarathne, Wasana, 2001. "Social Security arrangements in Singapore: An Assessment," Discussion Paper 9, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Pundarik Mukhopadhaya, 2001. "Distribution of Income and Expansion of Education in some East Asian Countries," Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, , vol. 12(4), pages 327-357, July.
    3. Tangcharoensathien, Viroj & Harnvoravongchai, Piya & Pitayarangsarit, Siriwan & Kasemsup, Vijj, 2000. "Health impacts of rapid economic changes in Thailand," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 789-807, September.
    4. Islam, Iyanatul & Kirkpatrick, Colin, 1986. "Export-Led Development, Labour-Market Conditions and the Distribution of Income: The Case of Singapore," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 113-127, June.
    5. Suqit Wibulpolprasert & Paichit Pengpaiboon, 2001. "Economic Dynamics and Health: Lessons from Thailand," Development, Palgrave Macmillan;Society for International Deveopment, vol. 44(1), pages 99-107, March.
    6. Tangcharoensathien, Viroj & Supachutikul, Anuwat & Lertiendumrong, Jongkol, 1999. "The social security scheme in Thailand: what lessons can be drawn?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(7), pages 913-923, April.
    7. Orbeta, Aniceto Jr. C. & Manasan, Rosario G. & de Guzman, Generoso & Reyes, Celia M., 1999. "Social Impact of the Regional Financial Crisis in the Philippines," Discussion Papers DP 1999-14, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
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    More about this item


    Inequality; Gini; Social sector; Singapore; Thailand; Education; Health; Financial Crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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