Escaping Poverty in Post‐Socialist Vietnam: Does Place Matter?


foreign direct investment, poverty, Vietnam, development policy, globalization


Over the past two decades, Vietnam has exhibited remarkable success in eliminating poverty. In fact, since 1999 Vietnam had the highest percentage point reduction of households living in poverty of any country in Asia. Between 2004 and 2008, the period focused on in this article, the Vietnamese national poverty rate fell from 21 to 12 percent. Although Vietnam experienced a dramatic overall reduction in poverty, poverty levels remain spatially uneven. Provinces with large amounts of foreign investments report significantly higher levels of poverty reduction than economically isolated rural provinces. This article focuses on both temporal change and geographic variability in household poverty reduction. Using paneled household data, a series of multilevel logistic regressions are used to examine why some households are more likely to escape poverty than others, and whether a household's place of residence contributes to its likelihood of escaping poverty. We address two questions: (1) controlling for household‐level sociodemographic factors, does the geographic location in which a household is embedded affect its likelihood of escaping poverty, and (2) does the interaction between household characteristics and provincial‐level changes in foreign direct investment per capita between 2001 and 2008 affect the probability of a household escaping poverty during this time?

Original Publication Citation

Sanders, Scott R., and David L. Brown. “Escaping Poverty in Post-Socialist Vietnam: Does Place Matter?” Poverty & Public Policy 6, no. 4 (2014): 332-353.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Poverty & Public Policy




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor