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Are returns to investment lower for the poor? Human and physical capital interactions in rural Viet Nam

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  • van de Walle, Dominique

Abstract

If the marginal gains from investment in physical capital depend positively on knowledge, but a household cannot hire skilled labor to compensate for low skills, then even if it has access to credit, the household will achieve lower returns than an educated household. If, as is common, the income-poor are less educated because of failures in the credit market, and because they live in areas where there is less access to schooling, then the poor will also have lower returns on investments. The author tests this argument for the case of irrigation infrastructure in Vietnam. She asks how a household's education level, and demographic characteristics influence the gains to household income from irrigating previously unirrigated land. The next marginal benefit of irrigation increases strongly with the education of a household. The results suggest that unless disparities in education are addressed, market-oriented reforms will generate inequitable agricultural growth in Vietnam.

Suggested Citation

  • van de Walle, Dominique, 2000. "Are returns to investment lower for the poor? Human and physical capital interactions in rural Viet Nam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2425, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2425
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lockheed, Marlaine E & Jamison, Dean T & Lau, Lawrence J, 1987. "Farmer Education and Farm Efficiency: Reply," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 643-644, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tewodaj Mogues, 2011. "The Bang for the Birr: Public Expenditures and Rural Welfare in Ethiopia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(5), pages 735-752.
    2. Dufhues, Thomas & Buchenrieder, Gertrud, 2005. "Outreach of credit institutes and households' access constraints to formal credit in Northern Vietnam," Research in Development Economics and Policy (Discussion Paper Series) 8535, Universitaet Hohenheim, Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics.
    3. Torero, Maximo, 2014. "The Impact of Rural Electrification," MPRA Paper 61425, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Lucia Mangiavacchi & Paolo Verme, 2013. "Minimum income in a transition economy," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 21(4), pages 683-712, October.
    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. Easterly, William, 2001. "The Effect of IMF and World Bank Programmes on Poverty," WIDER Working Paper Series 102, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Liu, Amy Y.C., 2008. "Changes in urban inequality in Vietnam: 1992-1998," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 410-425, December.
    8. Siegel, Paul B., 2005. "Using an asset-based approach to identify drivers of sustainable rural growth and poverty reduction in Central America : a conceptual framework," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3475, The World Bank.
    9. López-Bazo, Enrique & Moreno, Rosina, 2008. "Does human capital stimulate investment in physical capital?: Evidence from a cost system framework," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1295-1305, November.
    10. Leandro Siqueira Carvalho, 2010. "Poverty and Time Preference," Working Papers 759, RAND Corporation.
    11. Fan, Shenggen & Jitsuchon, Somchai & Methakunnavut, Nuntaporn, 2004. "The importance of public investment for reducing rural poverty in middle-income countries," DSGD discussion papers 7, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Jean-Louis ARCAND & Béatrice D'HOMBRES & Paul GYSELINCK, 2004. "Instrument Choice and the Returns to Education: New Evidence from Vietnam," Working Papers 200422, CERDI.
    13. Escobal, Javier, 2005. "The Role of Public Infraestructure in Market Development in Rural Peru," MPRA Paper 727, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Burney, Jennifer A. & Naylor, Rosamond L., 2012. "Smallholder Irrigation as a Poverty Alleviation Tool in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 110-123.
    15. Songco, Jocelyn A., 2002. "Do rural infrastructure investments benefit the poor? Evaluating linkages : a global view, a focus on Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2796, The World Bank.
    16. Fox, Louise & Pimhidzai, Obert, 2011. "Is informality welfare-enhancing structural transformation ? evidence from Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5866, The World Bank.
    17. Lucia Mangiavacchi & Paolo Verme, 2009. "Evaluating Pro-poor Transfers When Targeting is Weak: The Albanian Ndihma Ekonomike Program Revisited," Working Papers - Economics wp2009_08.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.

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