Social security in a decentralizing system: The case of Nakhon Ratchasima Province

Utis Kaothien, Douglas Webster, Poonsri Srithong, Natasha Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article focuses on Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) Province, the second most populous province in Thailand, after the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) area. We have chosen it for the case study for a variety of reasons. First, it is in Outer Thailand - thus decentralization will mean more change than in BMA, which already has taken responsibility for a variety of functions. Second, it is the largest province (both in terms of land area and population) in the poorest region of Thailand - the Northeast. Third, it is a province of contrasts. The Nakhon Ratchasima extended urban region is becoming the most significant industrial area in Thailand outside the Bangkok Extended Urban Region (EUR), at the same time as rural areas of the province remain very poor. Many policy instruments may affect the level of poverty incidence, e.g., importantly, the rate and composition of economic growth, and fiscal and taxation policy. Social protection policy and programming not only includes SSNs, but also programmes designed to protect human capital, which are not targeted towards the poor (but should include them), such as pension schemes, unemployment income-support programmes, and labour market interventions. In Thailand, SSN expenditures account for no more than 5 per cent of total government expenditure, or less than 1 per cent of Thailand's gross domestic product(GDP). Thus, it is unrealistic to expect SSN programmes in isolation to adequately address all the needs of the disadvantaged in a developing country such as Thailand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-139
Number of pages18
JournalRegional Development Dialogue
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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