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Farmland and peri-urban livelihoods in Hanoi, Vietnam: evidence from household survey data

Tuyen, Tran Quang (2013): Farmland and peri-urban livelihoods in Hanoi, Vietnam: evidence from household survey data.

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Using data from our own household survey (n=477) in Hanoi's peri-urban areas, this paper attempts to answer (i) what livelihood strategies are pursued by peri-urban households, (ii) which strategies are lucrative and which are not, and (iii) whether access to farmland is the potential barrier to enter remunerative strategies. The paper uses cluster analysis techniques, based on identification of household income shares by source, to provide the first classification of five livelihood strategies pursued by households in Hanoi's peri-urban areas. Income sources and total income are compared across livelihood strategies using Bonferroni pairwise tests and first-order stochastic dominant analysis. The findings of the study show that non-farm income sources mainly contribute to total household income, strategies based on formal wage work and non-farm household businesses are the most remunerative ones and strategies based on farming and informal wage work are the most inferior ones. Factors associated with households' livelihood strategy choice are examined using a multinomial logit model. The findings reveal that farmland is negatively associated with the choice of both high and low return non-farm-based strategies. This suggests that access to farmland is not a potential barrier to enter lucrative strategies. In addition, education of working members has a positive impact on the pursuit of remunerative strategies, implying that better education might shift households away from farming activities. Age of household working members has a negative effect on the choice of wage work-based strategies, suggesting that emerging non-farm opportunities make young workers less interested in farm work. Finally, this paper proposes some policy implications that may help households obtain better livelihood outcomes.

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