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Factors affecting the intensity of nonfarm participation among ethnic minorities in Northwest Mountains, Vietnam

Tuyen Quang Tran (Faculty of Political Economy, VNU University of Economics and Business, Hanoi, Vietnam)
Huong Van Vu (Department of Economics, Academy of Finance, Hanoi, Vietnam)
Tinh Thanh Doan (Faculty of Political Economy, VNU University of Economics and Business, Hanoi, Vietnam)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 11 April 2016

Abstract

Purpose

Little econometric evidence exists on the determinants of nonfarm participation among ethnic minorities in Vietnam. The purpose of this paper is to examine the intensity of nonfarm participation and its correlates among ethnic minority households in Northwest Mountains – the poorest region of Vietnam.

Design/methodology/approach

Factors affecting the level of nonfarm participation were examined by using a fractional logit model. In addition, regression analysis using analysis of variance models were used to compare the mean of household characteristics and assets between households with and without nonfarm employment.

Findings

The study found that households depended heavily on agriculture for subsistence and their access to nonfarm employment is very limited. Households with nonfarm employment had much higher levels of education, income, assets and a much lower level of poverty than those without nonfarm participation. The intensity of nonfarm participation is positively associated with education levels, proportion of male working members and fixed assets but negatively correlated with the size of annual crop land and water surface for aquaculture. Also, the presence of nonfarm opportunities and paved roads in a commune increases the intensity of nonfarm participation for households living in that commune.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that any poverty alleviation policies should aim at improving the access of ethnic minorities to education and nonfarm job opportunities.

Originality/value

The study offers the first evidence of factors affecting the intensity of nonfarm participation among ethnic minorities in the study area.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Vietnam National University, Hanoi and VNU University of Economics and Business for funding the publication of this research. The authors also thank colleagues for their valuable comments on earlier versions of this paper.

Citation

Tran, T.Q., Vu, H.V. and Doan, T.T. (2016), "Factors affecting the intensity of nonfarm participation among ethnic minorities in Northwest Mountains, Vietnam", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 43 No. 4, pp. 417-430. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-10-2014-0217

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited