Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

EIJS Working Paper Series,
Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies

No 232: ETHNIC MINORITIES AND RURAL POVERTY IN LAO PDR

Anders Engvall ()
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Anders Engvall: European Institute of Japanese Studies, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Ethnic minorities have a significantly higher poverty incidence than the majority in Lao PDR. Based on survey data the determinants of minority poverty are analyzed, the sources of inequality decomposed, and the expected impact of polices to address minority poverty estimated. Minority poverty is found to be due to limited access to resources, while minority resource use tends to be efficient. Yet, large differences in resource use between the minority groups are found. Decomposition shows that unequal access to resources and demographic variables largely explain the majority-minority poverty gap. A strategy for alleviating minority poverty in the Lao PDR is suggested: (1) broad policies covering education, infrastructure and agricultural development can address poverty among ethnic minorities; (2) policies should be tailored to the needs of the individual minority groups.

Keywords: Lao PDR; Laos; poverty; ethnic minorities

JEL-codes: I32; J15; O12; O53

30 pages, April 1, 2007

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