The Annals of Regional Science

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 349–368 | Cite as

How remote are Vietnam’s ethnic minorities? An analysis of spatial patterns of poverty and inequality

  • Michael EpprechtEmail author
  • Daniel Müller
  • Nicholas Minot
Original Paper


This paper investigates whether physical accessibility or ethnicity is a stronger determinant of poverty in Vietnam. Spatially disaggregated welfare indexes for population subgroups show that overall inequality is shaped by an urban–rural welfare divide, closely followed in importance by sharp welfare differences between ethnic groups. Accessibility to urban areas is a weaker determinant of poverty. The findings have important implications for the targeting of rural development investments. Addressing the factors isolating ethnic minorities from the mainstream economy is likely to be a more useful strategy in reducing rural poverty and inequality than simple geographic targeting.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Epprecht
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel Müller
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nicholas Minot
    • 4
  1. 1.Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) “North-South”, Centre for Development and Environment, Institute of GeographyUniversity of BerneBerneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO)Halle (Saale)Germany
  3. 3.Geomatics Lab, Geography InstituteHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Markets, Trade, and Institutions DivisionInternational Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)Washington, DCUSA

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