Vietnam: adjustment, growth and poverty

Type Journal Article - Journal of International Development
Title Vietnam: adjustment, growth and poverty
Volume 9
Issue 6
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1997
Page numbers 783-8
Results of Vietnam's first large-scale household survey show the incidence of absolute poverty in to be widespread, concentrated in the countryside and quite variable between geographical regions; moreover, the average poverty incidence is considerably higher in Vietnam than most of its Southeast Asian neighbours. Although some poverty targeting is needed, it is argued below that promoting pro-poor policies will depend principally on providing improved rural economic and financial infrastructure, maintaining favourable terms-of-trade for food agriculture and creating off-farm employment. Cautious optimism is justified in light of Vietnam's current high growth, its relatively egalitarian distribution of land assets and the stress laid on agricultural reform throughout the doi moi (renovation) period. At the same time, the data suggests that a fall in absolute poverty will be accompanied by a rapid rise in relative poverty; this problem can be alleviated only if more effective means are found of channelling resources towards the country's poorest regions and amending and decentralizing the financial and administrative basis of social provision. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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