Essays on Horizontal Inequalities, Ethnicity and Poverty: The Case of Vietnam

Hoang Thuy Quynh

Novembre 2018

Université Paris-Dauphine

Sous la direction de Mireille Razafindrakoto et François Roubaud

Vietnam has achieved remarkable success in poverty reduction and economic growth over the last three decades. However, horizontal inequality in general and ethnic inequality in particular remains a persistent challenge for Vietnam. This PhD thesis studies horizontal inequalities and ethnic poverty in Vietnam along three axes: effects of community participation in poverty reduction programs, earnings gaps by gender and ethnicity, and the formation of social networks. The first chapter inspects if the community participation approach takes place in poverty reduction programs targeted at mountainous areas and ethnic minorities, and evaluates of the effect of community participation on households’ economic and welfare outcomes. The second chapter examines whether gender and ethnic earnings gaps exist in the Vietnamese labour market and how much of these gaps could be explained by differences in endowments and returns to endowments. Lastly, the third chapter explores the disparities in risk sharing networks between the ethnic minority and majority and highlights the importance of cultural and social distance in social network formation. Taken together, the three chapters of this thesis provide evidence of horizontal inequality in Vietnam, and they suggest that this horizontal inequality would be likely to persist if differences in physical endowments and socio-cultural distance are not reduced.


Key words: ethnicity, inequality, labor market, social network, Vietnam.