Do Climate Changes Lead to Income Inequality? Empirical Study on the Farming Community in Malaysia
Alam, M.M., Taufique, K., and Sayal, A. 2017. Do Climate Changes Lead to Income Inequality? Empirical Study on the Farming Community in Malaysia, International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, Vol. 16(1), pp. 43-59.
17 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 30, 2017
Changes in climatic factors have different impacts on different social groups. But the farmers are considered to be the most vulnerable group because of their direct and indirect dependency on climatic factors. This study aims to understand the nature of socioeconomic impacts of climatic changes on the farmers in Malaysia. A questionnaire survey was conducted on a sample of 198 paddy farmers in the Integrated Agricultural Development Area at North-West Selangor of Malaysia in 2009. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, ordinal scale and percentile. The study reveals that climatic changes have adverse impacts on agricultural productivity, profitability, income equality, employment, farmer’s health, and government subsidy policy. The Kuznets ratio and Gini coefficient indicate that there is highly unequal distribution of income. Climatic changes are contributing to the widening of this income gap, because poor farmers are affected more by the adverse effects of climatic changes. The current government subsidy policy is not found appropriate and adequate to support and encourage the farmers to adequately adapt to the climatic changes and to reduce the inequality among the farming community. The paper ends up with recommending some policy guidelines to counter adverse effects of climate change on income of paddy farmers in Malaysia.
Keywords: climatic change; income equality; Gini coefficient; Kuznets ratio; Lorenz curve; poverty; agriculture; paddy; Malaysia
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