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Testing Vietnam's public safety net

  • van de Walle, Dominique

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.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 27874.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:27874
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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