Thailand and the issue of income distribution
Terasawa, Katsuaki L.
Gates, William R.
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Over the past 35 years, income structures and poverty levels in Thailand have generally followed the same patterns as most developing countries. This study shows a growing income inequality between different groups of the Thai population. However, the country's poverty levels, whether expressed as a percent of the total population or in absolute terms, have reduced significantly. These contrasting results are explained by two main factors: natural resource endowments and the effects of government policies on income distribution. Growth patterns and income structures in each region, especially in the agricultural sector, are primarily determined by natural resource endowments. These regional and sectoral endowments are either strengthened or weakened by government policies. Among these policies, the economic and social development plans have a great impact on income distribution. As the Thai economy has matured, the government is now attempting to both reduce poverty and narrow the income gap.
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