Bühler, Dorothee Christine: Household bargaining, shocks and vulnerability in the Mekong region. Hannover : Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität, Diss., 2019, XVI, 103 S. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15488/4447
In the past decades, the Mekong Region in Southeast Asia has experienced a period of substantial economic growth. Since not all parts of the society benefitted from growth in the same way, inequality in the region increased substantially. Consequently, there is a persistent welfare gap between different nations in the region but also between rural and urban areas within the same country. While urban centers, such as Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh City, offer a multitude of economic opportunities, rural households generate their income largely from agriculture and environmental resource extraction activities. However, these two livelihood activities are more and more challenged by the increasing frequency and impact of weather induced shocks and the degradation of natural resources through humans. As a result, household livelihood outcomes such as agricultural productivity, nutrition status and wellbeing are at risk. Therefore, it is important to understand how households react to these changes and which strategies can support households to reduce vulnerability to poverty. While external factors clearly pressure household livelihood choices and outcomes, another dimension of development is related to intra-household bargaining and the resulting resource allocation among household members. The resource allocation is crucial as e.g. nutrition, care and education constitute important channels that in uence the individual economic prosperity later in life. Therefore, it is essential to understand how resources are allocated within households and what role the bargaining power of individual members plays. The overall objective of this thesis is to analyze both aspects, namely the interplay between external conditions and households' livelihood choices as well as household behavior with respect to resource allocation. Specifically, the thesis studies the following topics: (i) the relation between female bargaining power and households' investment into education, (ii) the association between household food security and individual undernutrition, (iii) the influence of shocks on households' asset accumulation, (iv) the food security situation in relation to different livelihood activities, (v) the e ect of environmental income on household food security, and (vi) the role of environmental resource extraction for household well-being.
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