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Private inter-household transfers in Vietnam in the early and late 1990s

  • Cox, Daniel

The author uses date from the 1992-93 and 1997-98 Vietnam Living Standards Survey (VLSS) to describe patterns of money transfers between households. Rapid economic growth during the 1990s did little to diminish the importance of private transfers in Vietnam. Private transfers are large and widespread in both surveys, and are much larger than public transfers. Private transfers appear to function like means-tested public transfers, flowing from better-off to worse-off households and providing old age support in retirement. Panel evidence suggests some hysteresis in private transfer patterns, but many households also changed from recipients to givers and vice versa between surveys. Changes in private transfers appear responsive to changes in household pre-transfer income, demographic changes, and life-course events. Transfer inflows rise upon retirement and widowhood, for example, and are positively associated with increases in health expenditures. It also appears that private transfer inflows increased for households affected by Typhoon Linda, which devastated Vietnam's southernmost provinces in late 1997.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2853.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2853
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  1. Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1986. "Risk, Implicit Contracts and the Family in Rural Areas of Low-Income Countries," Bulletins 7518, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  2. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1995. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 65, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  4. Kathleen McGarry, 2000. "Testing Parental Altruism: Implications of a Dynamic Model," NBER Working Papers 7593, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert M. Townsend, . "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
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  8. Anjini Kochar, 2000. "Parental Benefits from Intergenerational Coresidence: Empirical Evidence from Rural Pakistan," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1184-1209, December.
  9. Cox, Donald & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1998. "Risk Sharing and Private Transfers: What about Urban Households?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(3), pages 621-37, April.
  10. Fortin, Pierre & Keil, Manfred & Symons, James, 2001. "The Sources of Unemployment in Canada, 1967-91: Evidence from a Panel of Regions and Demographic Groups," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 67-93, January.
  11. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
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