Do the Poorest Ethnic Minorities Benefit from a Large-Scale Poverty Reduction Program? Evidence from Vietnam
To increase the opportunities for poor ethnic minorities to benefit from economic growth the government of Vietnam implemented one of the biggest poverty reduction programs entitled ‘Socio-economic Development for the Communes Facing Greatest Hardships in the Ethnic Minority and Mountainous Areas’ during 2006 - 2010. This paper estimates the program’s impacts on households in the project areas. We find that the program had positive impacts on several important outcomes of the ethnic minority households, including productive asset ownership, household durables ownership, and rice productivity. Positive impacts were also recorded for agricultural income, household total income, and household per-capita income. A particularly important result is that poverty among minority households in treatment communes declined significantly more than it declined in comparison communes. Finally, ethnic minority households enjoyed a reduction in travel time to health facilities, relative to households in control communes.
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