Sources of Regional Income Disparity in Rural Vietnam: Oaxaca-Blinder Decomposition

Discussion Papers


by TAKAHASHI Kazushi

March 2007


This paper investigates determinants of regional income disparity in rural Vietnam, with special emphasis placed on the roles of human capital and land. We apply a decomposition method, suggested by Oaxaca and Blinder. We found that returns to assets rather than endowments, especially those of human capital, are one of the leading factors to account for income differences across regions. We also found that substantial improvements of returns to human capital in the Red River delta region are a driving force to catch up with Mekong River delta region. Unexpectedly, differences in land endowment do not strongly correlate with regional income disparity because better access to land in a region was partially offset by lower returns.

Keywords: Income Inequality, Human Capital, Land, Vietnam
JEL classification: O12, D31, I32

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