Does Economic Inequality Affect the Quality of Life of Older People in Rural Vietnam?
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By combining data from the 2011 Vietnam National Aging Survey and the 2011 Rural, Agricultural and Fishery Census, this study examined whether expenditure inequality has any effect on the quality of life (life satisfaction or happiness) among the elderly in rural Vietnam. It was confirmed from our regression analysis that individuals who live in the communes with high inequality tend to self-report as being less happy, even after controlling for various individual and household attributes. The findings are robust to the choice of inequality measures and the specification of econometric models. We also find that older rural people who are farmers or poor are more sensitive to inequality. Given that these people tend to be less happy than others, the result shows the risk that inequality further lowers their subjective well-being. This finding, in part, supports the view that rural Vietnam is not a mobile society.
KeywordsElderly Expenditure inequality Social mobility Subjective well-being Rural Vietnam
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