Title: Do climate changes lead to income inequality? Empirical study on the farming community in Malaysia

Authors: Md. Mahmudul Alam; Khan Md. Raziuddin Taufique; Azizullah Sayal

Addresses: School of Economics, Finance and Banking, College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia, 06010 UUM Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia ' Institute for Environment and Development, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia ' Department of Management Sciences, Comsats Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad, Pakistan

Abstract: Changes in climatic factors have different impacts on different social groups. Farmers are considered to be the most vulnerable group because of their direct and indirect dependency on climatic factors. This study aims to understand the nature of socioeconomic impacts of climatic changes on the farmers in Malaysia. A questionnaire survey was conducted on a sample of 198 paddy farmers in the Integrated Agricultural Development Area at North-West Selangor of Malaysia in 2009. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, ordinal scale, and percentile. The study reveals that climatic changes have adverse impacts on agricultural productivity, profitability, income equality, employment, farmer's health, and government subsidy policy. The study also finds considerable unequal income distribution among farmers. The study suggests that climatic changes contribute to the widening of income inequality, because poor farmers are affected more by the adverse effects of climatic changes. The paper ends up with recommending some policy guidelines to counter adverse effects of climate change on income of paddy farmers in Malaysia.

Keywords: climate change; income equality; Gini coefficient; Kuznets ratio; Lorenz curve; poverty; agriculture; paddy farmers; Malaysia; productivity; profitability; employment; health; government subsidies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2017.080848

International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, 2017 Vol.16 No.1, pp.43 - 59

Received: 16 Jul 2015
Accepted: 10 Jan 2016

Published online: 09 Dec 2016 *

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