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Economic Growth, Inequality and Poverty: Korea and Thailand

Опубликовано на портале: 19-05-2004
Организация: University of New South Wales
Подтип: PhD
Тематические разделы: Социология, Экономическая социология, Экономическая социология: Социально-экономическая дифференциация. Бедность, Социальная стратификация

Korea and Thailand are regarded as tiger economies for their success in achieving impressive economic growth during the last three decades. Along with their illustrious growth performances, both economies have experienced significant changes in inequality and poverty over the last decade of the twentieth century. This thesis deals with these three phenomena examining both the methodological and empirical aspects with focus on Korea and Thailand. The study uses unit-record micro data that include the Family Income and Expenditure Survey and the Survey of the Economically Active Population for Korea, and the Socio-Economic Survey and the Labor Force Survey for Thailand, with all surveys covering the period from 1990 to 1999. Economic growth is closely interrelated and intertwined with inequality and poverty. This study analyses these three phenomena in view of the economic development that has taken place in Korea and Thailand during the last three decades. Using a regression model, this study looks into the effect of education on earnings in the labor market. The study develops the crisis index that captures the adverse effect of the 1997 economic crisis on the Korean and Thai labor market. This study attempts to explain inequality in terms of many socioeconomic and demographic characteristics using the idea of relative deprivation. The regression model developed to explain the relative deprivation suffered by individuals is utilized to project inequality in the future. In Thailand inequality of income is found to be higher than inequality of consumption, whereas in Korea consumption is more unequally distributed than income. This is explained through the difference in the concentration of savings between the two economies. Similarly, the difference in the pattern of poverty between Korea and Thailand is analyzed in terms of the differences in average savings rates and the relative distributions of consumption and income among households. The study also develops a methodology to assess government fiscal policies from an equity point of view. Through this method, a government can assess whether its public expenditures benefit the poor or the rich in society. Likewise, this methodology also helps to review whether a government's tax policies are pro-poor or pro-rich. This idea of assessing a government's public policy is applied to both Korea and Thailand.

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