Spatial patterns of poverty in Vietnam and their implications for policy
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This study examines the geographic distribution of poverty in Vietnam by applying small area estimation methods to household budget data and population census data. The resulting district-level poverty estimates suggest that the incidence of poverty is highest in the remote northern and central highlands and lowest in the south-east and in large urban centres. However, mapping the density of poverty reveals that most poor people do not live in the poorest districts but in the two lowland deltas, where poverty incidence is intermediate. The policy implications of these findings present an important trade-off between targeting poor areas and poor people that can only be resolved with better information on the relative costs of delivering different programmes and their expected impact. Existing government estimates of poverty at the district level are not closely correlated with our poverty estimates, perhaps because of regional variation in their methods of collecting poverty data. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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