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Who gained from Vietnam's boom in the 1990s? An analysis of poverty and inequality trends


  • Glewwe, Paul
  • Gragnolatti, Michele
  • Zaman, Hassan


The authors assess the extent to which Vietnam's rapid economic growth in the 1990s was accompanied by reductions in poverty. They also investigate factors that contribute to certain households benefiting more than others. Using information from two household surveys, the Vietnam Living Standards Surveys (VNLSS) for 1992-93, and 1997-98, they show that Vietnam's gains in poverty reduction were striking during this period, and that the country's impressive growth has been fairly broad-based. After discussing descriptive statistics for both years, the authors examine factors contributing to poverty reduction using both simple decomposition analysis, and a multinomial logit model. The results show that: 1) returns to education increased significantly during this period, particularly for higher levels of education. 2) Location significantly affected a household's probability of escaping poverty during this period. Urban households enjoyed a greater reduction in poverty than did rural households, and households residing in the Red River Delta, and the southeast were also better able to take advantage of new opportunities. 3) White-collar households benefited most, and agricultural laborers the least. However, Vietnam cannot afford to be complacent, as nearly half its rural population lives below the poverty line, poverty rates among ethnic minorities remain very high, and natural calamities are a serious impediment to poverty reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • Glewwe, Paul & Gragnolatti, Michele & Zaman, Hassan, 2000. "Who gained from Vietnam's boom in the 1990s? An analysis of poverty and inequality trends," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2275, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2275

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Glewwe, P. & Hall, G., 1995. "Who is Most Vulnerable to Macroeconomic Shocks? Hypotheses Tests Using Panel Data from Peru," Papers 117, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    2. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt & Paul Glewwe & Li Guo, 2000. "Markets, Human Capital, and Inequality: Evidence from Rural China," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 298, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    3. Quentin Wodon, 2000. "Microdeterminants of consumption, poverty, growth, and inequality in Bangladesh," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(10), pages 1337-1352.
    4. Glewwe, Paul, 1991. "Investigating the determinants of household welfare in Cote d'Ivoire," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 307-337, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pandey, Sushil & Khiem, Nguyen Tri, 2001. "Population Pressure, Market Access And Food Security In The Uplands Of Northern Vietnam: A Micro-Economic Analysis," 2001 Annual meeting, August 5-8, Chicago, IL 20667, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Alexandru Pavel & Bogdan Moldovan & Bogdana Neamtu & Cristina Hintea, 2018. "Are Investments in Basic Infrastructure the Magic Wand to Boost the Local Economy of Rural Communities from Romania?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(10), pages 1-32, September.


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