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Multidimensional child poverty in Vietnam in 2008

improved lives or impoverished conditions?

Keetie Roelen


The last two decades has seen a rapid expansion of the bodies of research on the measurement of multidimensional poverty, chronic poverty and child poverty. Nevertheless, little attention has been paid to the longitudinal aspects of multidimensional poverty and even less evidence is available about longitudinal multidimensional child poverty. This paper aims to combine the strands of research on multidimensional, chronic and child poverty and advance the debate by investigating the specific case of Vietnam. We use household survey data from 2004, 2006 and2008 to analyze poverty trends on the basis of cross-sectional data as well as chronic and transient poverty on the basis of panel data.Poverty estimates on the basis of a multidimensional and country-specific approach showed that one-thirds of all children in Vietnam lived in poverty in 2006. Despite a rapid increase in economic growth and concurrent rise in living standards in the last two decades, the issue of child poverty proved to be of considerable magnitude and scope. In this paper, we investigate whether multidimensional child poverty followed this positive trend in overall living standards. Furthermore, the paper tests various hypotheses from the chronic multidimensional poverty literature on characteristics and needs of chronic versus transient poor children and the link between chronic and severe multidimensional child poverty. Although many findings from previous literature can be confirmed, a number of claims cannot be supported on the basis of this specific case.

Publication Type(s)

Conference Paper

Ten Years of War Against Poverty Conference Papers

Conference: Ten Years of War Against Poverty


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