Siam 1929-1930 Income Class




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Siam 1929-1930



Income Class


Number of households

Percentage of households

Average income per capita (baht per annum)

Income in terms of per capita mean

1

777455

6.70

5.48

0.18

2

504047

4.34

7.97

0.26

3

297273

2.56

8.36

0.27

4

777455

6.70

8.44

0.28

5

777455

6.70

11.16

0.37

6

504047

4.34

13.14

0.43

7

297273

2.56

13.26

0.43

8

722467

6.22

13.43

0.44

9

777455

6.70

14.87

0.49

10

297273

2.56

17.58

0.58

11

504047

4.34

18.43

0.60

12

722467

6.22

23.23

0.76

13

297273

2.56

24.02

0.79

14

504047

4.34

26.33

0.86

15

777455

6.70

27.77

0.91

16

722467

6.22

32.60

1.07

17

722466

6.22

49.72

1.63

18

297272

2.56

51.95

1.70

19

504047

4.34

83.16

2.73

20

722466

6.22

117.54

3.85

21

101200

0.87

210.56

6.90

Total

11,607,407

100

30.42

1


Income distribution data: The income distribution data are taken from an extensive rural survey done in 1930-31 (Zimmerman 1999), which referred to the income period spring 1929 to spring 1930, a fairly normal year prior to the great depression and the fall in rice prices. While it included the province of Bangkok, it did not include the city itself (with a population of 506,000). However, provincial towns were included in the sample, which was reported by four regions (Center, South, North and Northeast) and five quintiles, yielding 20 income classes plus the top officialdom. All incomes are reported in nominal bhat. Persons per household were only available as regional averages. Since the original distribution excluded Bangkok, it excluded merchants, artisans and the urban poor. Call these the non-royal Bangkok residents. Having no information on any of these, we have in effect assumed that these economically heterogeneous groups among the non-royal residents replicated their share distribution outside of Bangkok. We do not, however, ignore what we call the “officialdom” (the royal family, bureaucrats, and the church hierarchy) since we know a great deal more about this top Bangkok-located income group. Under the traditional system, officials were entitled to kin muang, or “eat the realm” (Zimmerman 1999: vii), that is to receive as income taxes paid by the peasants. Thus, we allocate the reported 21,308,381 in tax revenues (listed by household in the original) to the officialdom, and we estimate that their number was about a fifth of the Bangkok population (101,200 or 18,333 families). This gives us the 21st social class.
Population and area: Population of 11,607,407 from Wilson (1983: 32-34, augmented by the 101,200 officialdom), and the area is 513,115 km2 (current area of Thailand).
Urbanization rate: The average of 9-11 percent given in Bairoch (1985, p. 522) for year 1930.
Mean income in $PPP: 1929 GDP per capita in 1990 international dollars was 799 (Maddison 1995: 204).
REFERENCES
Bairoch, Paul (1985), De Jėricho à Mexico: villes et economies dans l’histoire, Paris: Arcades, Gallimard.

Maddison, Angus (1995), Monitoring the World Economy 1820-1992, Paris: OECD.

Wilson, Constance M. (1983), Thailand: A Handbook of Historical Statistics, Boston: G.

K. Hall.


Zimmerman, Carle C. (1999), Siam Rural Economic Survey 1930-31, Bangkok: White

Lotus Press; originally published in 1931, Putnam’s, New York.


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