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Return to schooling in Vietnam during economic transition: Does the return reach its peak?

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  • Doan, Tinh
  • Gibson, John

Abstract

A common phenomenon about transition economies is that the return to schooling improves as economic reform progresses. Existing research suggests that Vietnam is not an exception to the pattern. However, the rate of return for the period 1992-1998 is still relatively low, below 5%, relative to that of the world and other transitional economies. In addition, it is hard to see a clear trend in the current literature due to different methods applied and sets of variables controlled in the earnings equations (see Appendix B). The low returns may result from the gradual economic reforms applied in Vietnam, whilst in Eastern European countries the “Big Bang” transformation was conducted. Therefore, to test whether the return to schooling in Vietnam is rising and reaches other transitional economies’ rate of returns, we re-examine the trend in the rate of return to schooling in Vietnam over the 1998-2008 period, when the reforms have had a longer time to have an effect. We apply the OLS and Heckman selection estimator (Maximum Likelihood approach) and find that the return has increased quickly during the later economic reform but its pace has slowed down when the return reached the global average rate of returns around 10%.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 24984.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision: 19 Oct 2010
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24984

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Keywords: economic transition; returns to schooling; Vietnam;

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  1. Brainerd, Elizabeth, 1998. "Winners and Losers in Russia's Economic Transition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1094-1116, December.
  2. Robert S. Chase, 1998. "Markets for communist human capital: Returns to education and experience in the Czech republic and Slovakia," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(3), pages 401-423, April.
  3. Moock, Peter R. & Patrinos, Harry Anthony & Venkataraman, Meera, 2003. "Education and earnings in a transition economy: the case of Vietnam," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 503-510, October.
  4. Orazem, Peter F & Vodopivec, Milan, 1995. "Winners and Losers in Transition: Returns to Education, Experience, and Gender in Slovenia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 201-30, May.
  5. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  6. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004. "Returns to investment in education: a further update," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
  7. Fleisher, Belton M. & Sabirianova, Klara & Wang, Xiaojun, 2005. "Returns to skills and the speed of reforms: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe, China, and Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 351-370, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Doan, Tinh & Stevens, Philip, 2012. "Evolution of competition in Vietnam industries over the recent economic transition," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 6(19), pages 1-24.

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