Poverty and inequality in Vietnam (1993-2002)

Poverty and inequality in Vietnam (1993-2002)

‘Vietnam has experienced high growth and substantial poverty reduction for more than a decade’ (p.1, Hyun, 2005).
Research question: In what way(s) could the high economic growth have contributed to the observed changes in poverty and inequality in Vietnam?
Base your answer only on the indicators provided in Table 1 (below) and on the material of the Vietnam case study. There are many arguments that you can possibly make. Select those arguments that you find most relevant and work them out convincingly. Your argument should be understandable for persons with an academic thinking level, who are interested in development but not necessarily familiar with Vietnam or the specifics of poverty and inequality indicators.
Required readings:
–    Table 1: Poverty and Inequality in Vietnam (see below)
–    Hyun (2005), Vietnam: jobs, growth and poverty, UNDP One-Pager
–    Lecture slides Case Study Vietnam
–    Todaro and Smith, Economic Development, Chapter 5 (especially sections 5.1-5.5)
References:
–    Use your own words (quoting is not allowed, paraphrasing is allowed).
–    No need to include the reference to the book but refer to a page number if you paraphrase. If you use other readings they should be mentioned as reference. (Reference list is excluded from the one page maximum).
–    Of course, you can also consult other resources but you can only use the web links provided on the course website. Do not forget to cite your sources!

Evaluation criteria (100% score if all criteria fulfilled, otherwise 0%):
–    Maximum length 1 page, Times New Roman (12pt), space 1.0, standard margins.
–    The text should be structured as an essay and use the terminology discussed in class.
–    Mention your name and student ID on top of the assignment;
–    Submit as Word attachment on the course website under “Assignments” before Friday 27 February, 10 pm (after that there is a 24 hour grace period on which you may rely AT YOUR OWN RISK). Submissions by e-mail will not be accepted.
Learning objectives:
–    Understand how poverty and inequality indicators are constructed;
–    Understand what information they provide and what not;
–    Practice interpreting and explaining these indicators to another person;
More general: constructing an evidence-based argument.

Table 1: Poverty and inequality in Vietnam (1993-2002)    1993    1998    2002
Inequality indicators:

GINI index    36    36    38
Income share held by highest 20%    44    44    46
Income share held by lowest 20%    8    8    7

Poverty headcount  (% of population):

Poverty line at $1.25 a day (PPP)    64    50    40
National poverty line
Total population    58    37    29
Rural population    66    45    36
Urban population    25    9    7

Poverty gap (%):

Poverty gap at $1.25 a day (PPP)     24    15    11
National poverty line
Total population    19    10    7
Rural population    22    12    9
Urban population    6    2    1
Source: World Development Indicators

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