The multifaceted relationship between environmental risks and poverty: new insights from Vietnam


Despite complex interlinkages, insights into the multifaceted relationship between environmental risks and poverty can be gained through an analysis of different risks across space, time and scale within a single context using consistent methods. Combining geo-spatial data on eight environmental risks and household survey data from 2010–2014 for the case study of Vietnam, this paper shows: (i) at the district level, the incidence of poverty is higher in high risk areas, (ii) at the household level, poorer households face higher environmental risks, (iii) for some risks the relationship with household-level consumption varies between rural and urban areas, and (iv) environmental risks explain consumption differences between households, but less so changes over time. While altogether these analyses cannot establish a causal relationship between environmental risks and poverty, they do indicate that Vietnam’s poor are disproportionally exposed. Given growing pressures due to climate change, addressing such risks should be a focus of poverty reduction efforts.

Narloch, U., & Bangalore, M. (2018). In: Environment and Development Economics, 23(3), 298-327. doi:10.1017/S1355770X18000128