This study aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the economics of food production and consumption in Vietnam. Specifically, the study is comprised of five essays, covering several aspects of agriculture and food consumption in Vietnam.
The first essay studies agricultural productivity growth in Vietnam, using province-level data. It concludes that total factor productivity (TFP) growth in agriculture contributed greatly to Vietnam's agricultural success after it adopted reform policies. However, TFP growth has slowed in recent years, despite significant output growth.
The second essay examines the productive efficiency of rice farming households in Vietnam, using two methods, Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) with bootstrap and Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA). It points out that there is variation in efficiency estimates across regions in Vietnam. Moreover, technical efficiency is significantly influenced by primary education and regional factors.
The third essay estimates household food demand parameters in Vietnam, based on a recent household survey conducted in 2006. The results indicate that that food consumption patterns in urban and rural areas, and across regions and income groups, are quite different. This implies that targeted food policies should be formulated based on the specific food demand patterns of those groups. Socio-economic factors such as household size and composition, as well as the age of the household's head and education, have sizeable and statistically significant effects on food consumption.
The fourth essay focuses undernutrition and food security in Vietnam. The income elasticity of calorie consumption is estimated using both parametric and non-parametric regressions. The finding of positive and significant calorie-expenditure elasticity implies that income growth can alleviate undernutrition
Finally, the fifth essay examines the impacts of rising food prices on poverty and welfare in Vietnam. Increases in food prices raise the real incomes of those selling food, but make net food purchasers worse off. Overall, the net impacts on an average Vietnamese household's welfare are positive. However, the benefits and costs are not evenly spread across the population, so some households are made better off while the others are worse off.