Rethinking the Role of Agriculture and Agro-Industry in the Economic Development of Thailand: Input-Output and CGE Analyses (Ph.D. Dissertation)
Thailand’s economic development has been quite successful in terms of achieving high growth rate and reasonable per capita income. The country’s economic performance in terms of the transformation of production and exports are tending toward the normal pattern of increasing share of manufactured products. However, the major problems Thailand is still facing are the late reduction of its agricultural labor force, inequality that has occurred as a result of the development process, and problems in potential of manufacturing industrial sectors. These three issues are made the main discussions of this dissertation. In addition, structural transformation in Thailand has posed many difficulties for the development of Thai agriculture, which is closely related to the welfare of the poor in the rural areas. Therefore, to tackle income distribution problems directly requires that farmers be given new opportunities. Agro-industry and high value-added agricultural sectors were proposed as the key sectors to improve inequality problems, smoothen employment transformation, generate high growth and induce high output production, and act as a bridge connecting Thai primary agriculture with the modern sectors. Agro-industry was proposed to be promoted in the rural areas for closer input locations, to shift agricultural workers from primary agriculture, to improve the real wage of farmers, and to prevent extensive urban migration. Qualitative analysis, input-output analysis, SAM analysis, and CGE analysis were applied to aid the discussions, prove the hypothesis, and achieve the objective.
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