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Testing Vietnam's public safety net

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  • van de Walle, Dominique

Abstract

An effective public safety net can be important in a poor transition economy such as Vietnam. Yet we know very little about the performance of existing public transfers as a safety net. Using panel data, the paper investigates whether Vietnam's main social welfare transfers promoted poor people out of poverty and whether they protected the non-poor from becoming poor. It also explores the role transfer programs played in the country's dramatic reduction of poverty in the 1990s. Counterfactual consumption levels without transfers allow for behavioral responses. The findings suggest that transfer programs helped few people escape poverty and protected even fewer from falling into poverty. The public safety net appears to have been largely irrelevant to the country's recent poverty reduction record.

Suggested Citation

  • van de Walle, Dominique, 2003. "Testing Vietnam's public safety net," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 27874, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:27874
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ravallion, Martin & van de Walle, Dominique & Gautam, Madhur, 1995. "Testing a social safety net," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 175-199, June.
    2. Sumarto, Sudarno & Suryahadi, Asep & Pritchett, Lant, 2003. "Safety Nets or Safety Ropes? Dynamic Benefit Incidence of Two Crisis Programs in Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1257-1277, July.
    3. Michael Lokshin & Martin Ravallion, 2000. "Welfare Impacts of the 1998 Financial Crisis in Russia and the Response of the Public Safety Net," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(2), pages 269-295, July.
    4. Van de Walle, Dominique, 2002. "The static and dynamic incidence of Vietnam's public safety net," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2791, The World Bank.
    5. van de Walle, Dominique & Gunewardena, Dileni, 2001. "Sources of ethnic inequality in Viet Nam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 177-207, June.
    6. Behrman, Jere R & Knowles, James C, 1999. "Household Income and Child Schooling in Vietnam," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 211-256, May.
    7. Glewwe, Paul & Gragnolati, Michele & Zaman, Hassan, 2002. "Who Gained from Vietnam's Boom in the 1990s?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(4), pages 773-792, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pablo Gottret & George J. Schieber & Hugh R. Waters, 2008. "Good Practices in Health Financing : Lessons from Reforms in Low and Middle-Income Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6442, June.
    2. Paolo Verme, 2010. "The Poverty Reduction Capacity of Private and Public Transfers in Transition," Working Papers 2010-16, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    3. World Bank, 2010. "Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change : Vietnam," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12747, The World Bank.
    4. Nguyen Viet Cuong, 2009. "Measuring the impact of cash crops on household expenditure and poverty in rural Viet Nam," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 16(2), pages 87-112, December.
    5. Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "Evaluating Anti-Poverty Programs," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    6. Verme, Paolo, 2008. "Social assistance and poverty reduction in Moldova, 2001-2004 an impact evaluation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4658, The World Bank.
    7. Matthieu Clément, 2005. "Dynamiques de pauvreté et transferts publics : le cas de la Russie," Documents de travail 119, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
    8. Nidhiya Menon & Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, 2010. "Gender Differences in Socioeconomic Status and Health: Evidence from the 2008 Vietnam Household Living Standard Survey," Working Papers 18, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.

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