Income inequality has been one of the most important problems in Thailand for several decades, and many have been developing arguments concerning this issue. Unfortunately, it seems that few studies examine relationships between income distribution and external trade. The aim of this study is to fill this gap.
In an attempt to explore the relationships between the two factors, a comprehensive study of economic structure and household income has been undertaken. A lesson from the study is that favourable agricultural conditions are very powerful in improving income distribution. There are of course other factors that being important in explaining inequality, namely GDP per capita, the share of labour in agriculture, and the ration of secondary enrolment to primary enrolment in agriculture.
The study also produced many tables and figures summarising the trade, economic, and income distribution situation. Therefore, the ultimate objective of this paper is not only to assess the impact of Thailand's rapid economic change on the distribution of income, but also to provide a collection of facts which may generate valuable insights for future use.