Trinh Pham (Phạm Thị Tuyết Trinh)

Hello and thank you for visiting my page.

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Applied Economics at Cornell University.

I study issues related to human capital formation and labor in developing countries.

Please feel free to contact me via email at tp347[at]cornell[dot]edu.


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Peer-Reviewed Publications

Structural Transformation, Agriculture, Climate, and the Environment
Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, forthcoming.
with Christopher B. Barrett and Ariel Ortiz-Bobea

This paper reviews the feedbacks between structural transformation and agriculture, on the one hand, and climate and the natural environment, on the other. The longstanding, dominant economic development narrative largely ignores nature’s influence on factor productivity and stocks, even as it increasingly illustrates how agricultural technological change and economic growth affect nature. We articulate some of the missing linkages and pose a range of policy research questions worth exploration concerning structural transformation and the complex feedback among agriculture, nature, and economic growth processes, especially in the low-income agrarian nations of the Global South.

Working paper version (February 2022)

The Child Education and Health Ethnic Inequality Consequences of Climate Shocks in Vietnam
Economics of Education Review, 2022, 90: 102311.

This paper provides a new explanation for ethnic disparities in education and health in Vietnam by studying the relationship between frequent, small-scale adverse rainfall shocks and child human capital. Exploiting plausibly random year-to-year variation in weather data that are linked to a longitudinal household- and individual-level dataset over the period 2008–2017, I find that excess rainfall during the annual typhoon season results in lower child subjective health status and school enrollment, with disproportionate effects on children of ethnic minorities. The negative lagged effects on education are concentrated in children at primary school start age, suggesting delaying children’s school entry is a shock–coping strategy for poor ethnic minority households, albeit with potentially big negative long-run effect on their child lifetime earnings. Estimates suggest that rainfall shocks can explain approximately 28% of the observed ethnic gap in enrollment rates of children age 16–18 in the sample during the study period, and most is due to heterogeneous effects of rainfall shocks among ethnic groups, not differences in exposure to rainfall shocks.
Accepted version (August 2022)

The Intertemporal Evolution of Agriculture and Labor over a Rapid Structural Transformation: Lessons from Vietnam
Food Policy, 2020, 94: 101913.
with Yanyan Liu, Christopher B. Barrett and William Violette

We combine nationally representative household and labor force survey data from 1992 to 2016 to provide a detailed description of rural labor market evolution and how it relates to the structural transformation of rural Vietnam, especially within the agricultural sector. Our study adds to the emerging literature on structural transformation in low-income countries using micro-level data and helps to answer several policy-related questions. We find limited employment creation potential of agriculture, especially for youth. Rural-urban real wage convergence has gone hand-in-hand with increased diversification of the rural economy into the non-farm sector nationwide and rapid advances in educational attainment in all sectors’ and regions’ workforce. Minimum wage laws seem to have played no significant role in increasing agricultural wages. This enhanced integration also manifests in steady attenuation of the longstanding inverse farm size-yield relationship. Farming has remained securely household-based and the family farmland distribution has remained largely unchanged. Small farm sizes have not obstructed mechanization nor the uptake of labor-saving pesticides, consistent with factor substitution induced by rising real wage rates. As rural households rely more heavily on the labor market, human capital accumulation (rather than land endowments) have become the key correlate of improvements in rural household well-being.

Working Papers

Climate Change and Intersectoral Labor Reallocation in a Developing Country
Presentation: MWIEDC (2023, scheduled)

How does climate change affect structural transformation in developing economies? In this paper, I study the impact of changing temperatures on intersectoral labor reallocation within Vietnamese provinces between 1992 and 2018. Exploiting plausibly random year-to-year and decade-to-decade variations in weather distributions, I find that hot temperatures induce workers to reallocate from agriculture to non-agriculture in both the short and long terms, and these effects are concentrated in areas that are relatively more integrated into the world market. In addition, reallocation rates differ across age groups depending on destination jobs. While older individuals are likely to move into informal non-agriculture, younger workers comprise most of those who shift to a formal non-agricultural job, even controlling for differences in educational attainment. Supporting evidence suggests that these results are driven by relative labor productivity loss and labor market frictions, where workers move towards less affected sectors entry into which entails lower switching costs. Together, these findings demonstrate the role of trade openness and relative labor productivity loss, as well as labor market frictions in the climate change - sectoral employment relationship.


Cornell University

  • Instructor, Math Camp for incoming Dyson School MSc Students, Summer 2022
  • Teaching Assistant, Economics of Developing Countries, Undergraduate level, Spring 2021-2022
  • Teaching Assistant, Applied Econometrics, Master's level, Fall 2021
  • Teaching Assistant, Research and Methods, Master's level, Fall 2020
  • Teaching Assistant, Risk Simulation and Monte Carlo Methods, Master's level, Spring 2020
  • Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Economics of Development, Undergraduate level, Fall 2019