Poverty and Global Recession in Southeast Asia

Poverty and Global Recession in Southeast Asia
Date of publication:  2011
Publisher:  Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Number of pages:  432
Code:  PIC202


“The co-editors draw several thematic conclusions, including that the negative outcomes of both the 1997 Asian crisis and the current global recession fall most heavily and for longer on the poor. Nonetheless, regional/global crises are experienced very differently in different countries and this is partially because of the complex nature of poverty in terms of its prevalence and stage. Furthermore, the authors highlight the capacity of internal migration to mitigate the effect of economic crises. The more flexible and open the labour market within a given state, the more able the poor of a particular country are to respond and move to where their options are somewhat better.  Finally, the book’s editors use this chapter to, not surprisingly but helpfully, draw attention to the need for safety nets and better social security infrastructure, particularly for the vulnerable as they are the most unable to weather the downturns of the market. Several of the most interesting chapters involve recent information about countries for which data is rare and, typically, somewhat unreliable. The co- editors have been able to assemble a wealth of very recent poverty, food and policy information. In particular, chapter 4 (Education and Employment of the Poor in Laos, by Thant, Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines) offers a very compelling analysis of the educational situation in Laos. Thant first introduces readers to the dramatic demographic and economic background of Laos, a country with an extremely diverse yet small population dispersed over remarkably remote areas. This is a key consideration for policy makers because the diversity complicates education and any other human capital or poverty alleviation efforts, even those as basic as infrastructure provision. Overall, this comprehensive volume should prove of interest to scholars seeking very recent data for many countries in Southeast Asia for which it is unusual to have access to household level data of the volume and detail presented by the authors. While the book does not provide any new arguments or make unpredictable or controversial economic conclusions, the chapters are valuable in terms of their commitment to careful detail and helpful information about the region” (Pacific Affairs).

About the publication

Financial crises after financial crises have occurred, with widening impact and deepening severity. This book started with an objective to understand the impact of high inflation on poverty in Southeast Asia. However, global inflation moved quickly into recession in 2008. Southeast Asia was not an exception. The book then refocused the title to Poverty and Global Recession in Southeast Asia. It is a modest attempt to contribute a better understanding of poverty and food security in Southeast Asia during the 2008–09 global recession, considering both recent developments and the previous major crisis of 1997–98. The book may also help to anticipate some possible impacts of future global recession on food and poverty, not only in Southeast Asia, but also in many other countries in the world.

“This book accomplishes two things at the same time; while focusing on two of the most important issues pertaining to Southeast Asia — poverty and food security — the book also fully utilizes the region's vibrant and diverse socio-economic-political settings in demonstrating how complicated these issues are. An excellent book indeed for scholars and policymakers who want to gain deep understanding of the issues and the Region.”

—Dr Somchai Jitsuchon, Research Director
Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI)

Co-publication: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Institute of Southeast Asian Studies


  • Poverty and Global Recession in Southeast Asia
    [Whole Publication, ISBN: 9789814311205]
  • Preliminary pages
  • 1. Poverty and Food Security in Uncertain Southeast Asia
  • 2. Impact of World Recession on Rural Poverty and Food Security in Southeast Asia: Lessons from the 1997-1998 Asian Crisis
  • 3. Global Economic Crisis and Social Security in Southeast Asia
  • 4. Education and Employment of the Poor in Laos
  • 5. Regional Disparities, Income Inequality and Poverty: A Cumulative Causation from Malaysia's Experience
  • 6. The Mobility Game in Singapore: Poverty, Welfare, Opportunity, and Success in a Capitalist Economy
  • 7. Poverty in Democratizing Indonesia
  • 8. The Political Economy of Rice and Fuel Pricing in Indonesia
  • 9. The Price of Rice and Politics of Poverty in the Philippines
  • 10. The Impact of High Food Prices on Food Security in Cambodia
  • 11. Do the World Energy Price Shocks Explain Thailand's Rice Price Turmoil?
  • 12. Impact of the 1997-98 Financial Crisis on Employment, Migration, and Poverty: Lessons Learnt from Thailand
  • 13. Impact of Global Recession on Wage Inequality in Singapore
  • 14. The Urban Poor During the Global Financial Crisis and Economic Downturn in Vietnam
  • 15. High Cost of Living and Social Safety Nets for Low Income Groups in Urban Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Index

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