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The surprising effects of the great recession : losers and winners in Thailand in 2008-2009

  • Haughton, Jonathan
  • Khandker, Shahidur R.

In 2009, buffeted by the great recession, Thai gross domestic product fell by 2.3 percent. Using monthly data from the socio-economic surveys of 2007-2010, this paper finds, after controlling for household variables, that real consumption per capita rose in 2009 relative to 2008 for most groups, including the poor, urban and rural households, men, women, and children. The losers were residents of Bangkok, especially those aged 20-29, and those working in sales and services. During the recession year of 2009, school enrollment rates did not fall, and durable goods purchases actually rose; households probably reduced their savings, and also benefitted from the lower food prices that prevailed in 2009. A simulation exercise based on the slowdown in growth of gross domestic product would have missed these effects, as would models based solely on readily-available data series. This points to the importance of country-specific policy analysis, rooted in timely local evidence, including household survey data.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6255.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6255
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  1. Jed Friedman & James Levinsohn, 2002. "The Distributional Impacts of Indonesia's Financial Crisis on Household Welfare: A "Rapid Response" Methodology," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(3), pages 397-423, December.
  2. Headey, Derek, 2011. "Was the global food crisis really a crisis?: Simulations versus self-reporting," IFPRI discussion papers 1087, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Francisco, Ruth & Wan, Guanghua, 2009. "How is the Global Recession Impacting on Poverty and Social Spending? An ex ante assessment methodology with applications to developing Asia," MPRA Paper 18885, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Jonathan Haughton & Shahidur R. Khandker, 2009. "Handbook on Poverty and Inequality," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11985.
  5. Fabrizio Bresciani & Gershon Feder & Daniel O. Gilligan & Hanan G. Jacoby & Tongroj Onchan & Jaime Quizon, 2002. "Weathering the Storm: The Impact of the East Asian Crisis on Farm Households in Indonesia and Thailand," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 1-20.
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