Author: Pasuk Phongpaichit, Chulalongkorn University and Kyoto UniversityThailand has become a wealthier but also more unequal society over the past few decades.Until recently inequality was not a burning issue — but Thailand’s prominent political convulsions have changed this.Until recently the country’s strategy of export-oriented growth was defended on the grounds that it delivered growth.

But as Thailand’s growth rate has faltered, that argument has lost traction. More people than ever fear that Thailand faces a ‘middle-income trap’, and the issues of growth and inequality have been yoked together. The question now is, how can Thailand sustain growth and mitigate inequality at the same time?Thailand has become a middle-income country. Its GDP per capita in real terms has tripled in one generation from 1980 to 2005

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Confronting Thailand’s inequality through fiscal reform

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