Unequal Thailand: Aspects of Income, Wealth and Power

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Edited by Pasuk Phongpaichit and Chris Baker
Contributions by Pasuk Phongpaichit, Chris Baker, Duangmanee Laovakul, Dilaka Lathapipat, Wanicha Direkudomsak, Nualnoi Treerat, Parkpume Vanichaka, Nopanun Wannathepsakul, Chaiyon Praditsil, Chainarong Khrueanuan, Ukrist Pathmanand and Pan Ananapibut

Extreme inequalities in income,wealth and power lie behind Thailand’s political turmoil. What are the sources of this inequality?  Why does it persist, or even increase when the economy grows? How can it be addressed?

The contributors to this important study—Thai scholars, reformers and civil servants—shed light on the many dimensions of inequality in Thailand, looking beyond simple income measures to consider land ownership, education, finance, business structures and politics. The contributors propose a series of reforms in taxation, spending and institutional reform that can address growing inequality.

Inequality is among the biggest threats to social stability in Southeast Asia, and this close study of a key Southeast Asian country will be relevant to regional policy-makers, economists and business decision-makers, as well as students of oligarchy and inequality more generally.

"...brings rigorous scholarship to this emotionally-charged debate..." - Jim Stent, The Bangkok Post

"...an engaging and well-crafted volume that delivers much-needed new empirical research on the challenges of inequality and oligarchy in Thailand. This book represents some of the best minds from Thailand on the state of the country’s current political economy." - T.F. Rhoden
“[Pasuk Phongpaichit and Chris Baker] have edited an excellent and informative book that focuses on many of the issues that underlie Thailand's current political crises ... it is reaffirming to read such good scholarship delivered with so much hope for the future.” - Amita Danière
“...should be read by all—scholars and generalists alike—who have an interest in contemporary Thai politics and political economy...” - Ian Coxhead, Journal of Asian Studies


Pasuk Phongpaichit and Chris Baker were awarded the 2017 Fukuoka Grand Prize for their outstanding work on Thai society, literature and social transformation (The Bangkok Post, June 19, 2017)

Pasuk Phongpaichit is professor in the Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.

Chris Baker is an independent scholar and long-term resident of Thailand.

Publication Year: 2015
208 pages, 229mm x 152mm 
ISBN: 978-981-4722-00-1

NUS Press