Details of the project

TVSEP is a long-term research project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The overall goal of the project is to complement existing panels in industrialized countries by establishing a unique, multipurpose and long-term socio economic panel in the emerging economies of Thailand and Vietnam. The data are made accessible to the international research community free of charge.

The household and village surveys were conducted with a sample of almost 4400 households in 440 villages in rural areas of six provinces in Thailand and Vietnam. Since 2016, TVSEP has conducted surveys using Computer-Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPIs), which reduce post-survey processing by making data entry redundant.

The electronic questionnaires are created using the World Bank’s Survey Solutions software for tablet computers. The household panel covers many important aspects of living standard measures, demography, geography, shocks, risks, expectations, subjective assessments and behavioral traits of individuals.

The village data contains information on infrastructure and location variables that can be used to define instrumental variables in econometric models.

Another unique component of the TVSEP database is information on rural household members who have migrated to urban centers and neighboring industrialized provinces. To date two migrant tracking surveys have been conducted. All assembled data are anonymized to adhere to data privacy standards.


The objective of this project is to extend the panel household surveys in Thailand and Vietnam for another nine years (six waves of rural household and two waves for migrant surveys) to generate a much deeper understanding of income and poverty dynamics in rural areas of rapidly changing emerging economies. This is to be achieved by providing high-quality data and making them accessible to an international community of researchers, and by pursuing aspects of this research agenda as part of this project. The project promotes significant advances in researching development and agricultural economics with the assistance of high-profile research groups worldwide by facilitating data access and providing advice.

Work program

The total project period is designed for nine years and split in three phases of three years each. The start of the first phase is planned for 1 September 2015 and will end on 31 August 2018. The second phase would last from 1 September 2018 until 31 August 2021 and the third phase from 1st September 2021 to 31st August 2024.

During the first phase two household panel surveys took place in 2016 and 2017 in the six provinces in Thailand (Nakhon Phanom, Ubon Ratchathani, Buriram) and Vietnam (Ha Tinh, Thua Thien Hue, Dak Lak). In addition, the respective village heads in all 440 project villages were interviewed. Furthermore the TVSEP migrant survey has been started in June 2018 in urban centers (i.e. Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City) of the two countries.

Project design

The project is build on the structure and the collaborations established by DFG FOR 756. It continues and further advances the existing high quality panel database collected in villages, households and from individuals (migrants) in Thailand and Vietnam. Based on the panel data the project aims and stimulates high class research by scientific institutions worldwide and especially in the two survey countries. A core element of the new project design is that it effectively links data collection and data use for scientific research. Ensuring rapid public data access with full documentation will receive top priority to ensure data access to the international research community (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Project design.