Labor markets, occupational choice, and rural poverty in four Asian countries

Jonna Estudillo, Tomoya Matsumoto, Chowdhury Zia Uddin Hayat, Nandika S. Kumanayake, Keijiro Otsuka


This paper explores the underlying mechanism in the rural labor market that leads to income growth and poverty reduction in the rural areas of the Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Increase in nonfarm income, most importantly coming from formal jobs, has served as an important driver of income growth and poverty reduction. Thus, to reduce rural poverty, formal jobs must be created because quality of jobs matters a lot in improving the living standards.

JEL Classification: J24,J43, O15


poverty; formal jobs; nonfarm sector; rural labor market

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