Risk and inequality in rural Thailand

Shabab, Chowdhury Rashaad (2017) Risk and inequality in rural Thailand. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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The first chapter of this thesis provides an introduction to the issues that will be covered in the remaining chapters, reviews the relevant literature on risk and insurance, and provides an overview of the data on rural Thailand that I will be using.

The second chapter investigates the extent to which households at different parts of the income distribution among these Thai households differ in the extent to which their income streams are affected by droughts. I find that the income streams of relatively rich households are better insured than their poorer counterparts. I am able to empirically link the better insurance possibilities enjoyed by richer households to observable characteristics such as the education level of the head of household, the type of contract the head is likely to be employed in, and the relative youth of the heads of richer households.

The third chapter demonstrates that income inequality among these households is declining, both over the duration of the panel, and over the lifecycles of the heads of these households. I show that this decline cannot be explained by standard lifecycle considerations. Rather, I find that remittances from the adult children of the heads of household account for the entirety of the reduction in income inequality over the lifecycles of the heads of household.

Chapter 4 models the probability with which a household receives remittances (the ‘extensive margin’) and the share of remittances in household income (the ‘intensive margin’) as functions of observable household characteristics. Using these models, I construct counterfactual distributions of income which permit me to identify the extent to which the extensive and intensive margins of remittance receipts account for the reduction in inequality that these models are able to explain. Chapter 5 concludes.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic history and conditions > HC0411 Asia > HC0445 Thailand
H Social Sciences > HG Finance > HG8011 Insurance > HG8501 By region or country > HG8694.85 Asia > HG8704.6 Southeast Asia. Indochina > HG8704.655 Thailand
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2017 15:36
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2017 15:36
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/71082

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