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Ageing, Poverty, and the Role of a Social Pension in Vietnam


    (National Economics University)


    (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)

By using the Vietnam Household Living Standard Survey in 2004, this paper seeks to quantify the potential role and impacts of a social pension scheme for reducing elderly poverty in Vietnam. We simulate how the poverty rate, poverty gap, and poverty severity of the elderly would have been changed in the counterfactual situation that such a scheme had been introduced to Vietnam in the past. We consider a number of categorical targeting groups of elderly people along with various transfer parameters to assess the impacts of the scheme on social welfare. We find that, depending on the characteristics of the social pension, there would be beneficial poverty reductions, but also large leakages to the non-poor people. For a variety of measures, our results suggest that targeting the elderly in rural areas might be the most effective use of limited resources. Also, simulations for different budgetary constraints show that, even with limited budgeting, a social pension scheme would significantly reduce poverty incidence for the elderly. We also find that for a given program cost, combining lower benefits with lower eligibility requirements is more effective at reducing poverty than providing larger benefits to a more limited group of recipients. Published as: Giang, L. T., and W. D. Pfau. “Aging, Poverty, and the Role of Social Pensions in Vietnam,” Development and Change. Vol. 40, No. 2 (March 2009), p. 333-360.

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Paper provided by National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in its series GRIPS Discussion Papers with number 10-09.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision: Jul 2010
Handle: RePEc:ngi:dpaper:10-09
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