Understanding poverty dynamics using a mixed-method study: evidence from the rural village in the northeast and central regions of Thailand

Sakondhavat, Arnunchanog (2013) Understanding poverty dynamics using a mixed-method study: evidence from the rural village in the northeast and central regions of Thailand. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This study is one of the first attempts to understand the long-term mechanisms of poverty dynamics at the household level in rural villages in Thailand. It does so by identifying dynamic patterns of poverty and by examining the factors and processes that underlie poverty dynamics in two major rice production regions of Thailand, namely, Khon Kaen province in the Northeast, Thailand’s poorest region, and Suphanburi province in the Central plain, one of the richest regions of the country. The study is based on a survey of a panel of 240 households that were originally interviewed in 1988, and followed and interviewed again in 2009 for the purpose of this longitudinal study. The contrast between the survey areas is deliberate and has been useful for comparing economic and social structural changes of rural households across two decades, as well as examining disparities in the opportunities and resources between the two regions.
In order to capture the complex and multidimensional nature of poverty, the study combines quantitative and qualitative methods in the analysis of poverty dynamics in Thailand. A quantitative survey analysis was merged with qualitative assessments by using the same sampling frame and then sequentially integrating life history interviews. The results show that both quantitative and qualitative approaches provide similar patterns of poverty transition. Notably, the study has found that the proportions of households moving into and out of poverty were higher than those remaining in chronic poverty, similarly to most experiences of poverty mobility in other developing countries. In addition, the study demonstrates the benefits of using a mixed-method approach for examining the factors underlying poverty dynamics. The study argues that combining these two approaches provides a richer insight of how rural households’ economic, social and demographic characteristics have been associated with poverty dynamics. A number of similar factors that influence households’ poverty dynamics were identified in both quantitative and qualitative approaches. These include asset factors, demographic factors and employment factors. However, the qualitative approach has provided further insight into additional contextual factors and processes not easily identified by the quantitative approach, notably the impact of ill-health shocks and behavioural factors. Understanding the distinction between the patterns of poverty dynamics and the mechanisms explaining them is of crucial importance for policy interventions. The implications derived from this study of poverty dynamics seek to strengthen poverty reduction efforts in Thailand, as well as to derive useful lessons to other developing countries.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: Institute of Development Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic history and conditions > HC0445 Thailand
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD0072 Economic development. Development economics. Economic growth
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2013 11:41
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2015 12:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/46488

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