NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
loading...

Ethnic Inequality and Poverty in Malaysia Since 1969

Martin Ravallion

NBER Working Paper No. 25640
Issued in March 2019
NBER Program(s):Development Economics

Ethnic riots broke out in Malaysia in 1969, prompting a national effort at affirmative action favoring the poorer (majority) of “Bumiputera” (mainly Malays). Since then, Malaysia’s official poverty measures indicate one of the fastest long-term rates of poverty reduction in the world, due to both economic growth and falling inequality. Did ethnic inequality fall since 1969 and was that a key factor in the country’s success in reducing poverty and in managing inequality? New measures in this paper indicate a substantial decline in relative ethnic inequality. This brought down national relative inequality, though not enough to prevent rising absolute inequality, given the initial disparities. A new analytic decomposition of the rate of poverty reduction reveals that ethnic redistribution helped reduce poverty, although it was not as important as the overall rate of growth in household incomes. Despite past progress in reducing ethnic inequality, the responsiveness of the national poverty rate to ethnic redistribution remains high even today.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25640

 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us