Growth with Equity: Income Inequality in Vietnam, 2002–14

58 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2016

See all articles by Dwayne Benjamin

Dwayne Benjamin

University of Toronto

Loren Brandt

University of Toronto - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Brian McCaig

Wilfrid Laurier University - School of Business & Economics

Abstract

We use the 2002 through 2014 Vietnam Household Living Standards Surveys to construct comparable measures of household income and estimates of income inequality over this high-growth period. We focus on two questions: How have benefits from growth been distributed; and do changes in the structure of the economy map into changes in inequality? We explore dimensions in which inequality may vary, notably urban versus rural, and by ethnic status. We also decompose inequality by income source to highlight key factors underlying the relatively low levels of inequality during this period. We find that agricultural opportunities played an important role in dampening inequality, but more important has been the steady development of wage-labor markets in both urban and rural areas. An important caveat to the generally rosy picture we paint is the deteriorating position of ethnic minorities. Finally, we draw comparisons with China and document key differences in their growth-inequality experience.

Keywords: Vietnam, income inequality, decomposition

JEL Classification: D31, D63, O53

Suggested Citation

Benjamin, Dwayne and Brandt, Loren and McCaig, Brian, Growth with Equity: Income Inequality in Vietnam, 2002–14. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10392. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2879799

Dwayne Benjamin (Contact Author)

University of Toronto ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada
416-978-6130 (Phone)
416-978-6713 (Fax)

Loren Brandt

University of Toronto - Department of Economics ( email )

150 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G7
Canada
416-978-4442 (Phone)
416-978-6713 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Brian McCaig

Wilfrid Laurier University - School of Business & Economics

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5
Canada

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