Our main objective in this research was to examine the role of land ownership in the choice of household livelihood in the rural Mekong Delta region, Vietnam. Using secondary data on rural households in the Mekong Delta region, we use cluster analysis techniques to classify livelihoods currently adopted by rural households. Using Bonferroni pairwise tests and quantile functions (Pen’s parades), we then compare the income levels of identified livelihoods. Finally, we employ a multinomial logit model to examine different factors affecting the choice of livelihoods. We identify five livelihoods pursued by local households, and found that households engaged in farm work, formal wage-earning work and non-wage work livelihoods obtain higher levels of income than did those whose livelihoods depend on informal wage-earning work or non-labor income sources. We also found that several types of land are positively associated with the choice of high-return livelihoods, implying that lack of access to land is a potential obstacle to adopting a profitable livelihood. Also, we found education plays a major role in the pursuit of remunerative livelihoods, which suggests that better education would allow households to move from low- to high-return livelihoods.
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The purpose of the Mekong Land Research Forum online site is to provide structured access to published and unpublished research on land issues in the Mekong Region. It is based on the premise that debates and decisions around land governance can be enhanced by drawing on the considerable volume of research, documented experience and action-based reflection that is available.