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Reform, growth, and poverty in Vietnam

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  • Dollar, David

Abstract

Vietnam grew rapidly in the 1990s, and yet by many measures it has poor economic institutions. Dollar seeks to explain this apparent anomaly. Between the 1980s and 1990s Vietnam carried out significant economic reforms, notably stabilization, the introduction of positive real interest rates, trade liberalization, and initial property rights reform in agriculture. Relating these changes to the empirical growth literature, the author finds that Vietnam's growth acceleration is about what would be predicted. Conditional convergence also suggests that the country's high growth rate will decelerate unless further reforms are taken. The author then looks at the level of institutional and policy development in Vietnam compared with other emerging market economies. While Vietnam's policies have improved, they did so starting from a very low base. So, it can be simultaneously true that Vietnam's policies have improved a lot and yet are rather poor in comparative perspective. A comparison of governance indicators, financial sector issues, and the infrastructure of international integration reveals serious institutional weaknesses in Vietnam that need to be addressed if a high growth rate is to be sustained.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2837.

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Date of creation: 31 May 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2837

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Keywords: Public Health Promotion; Environmental Economics&Policies; Labor Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Economic Conditions and Volatility; Achieving Shared Growth; Governance Indicators; Environmental Economics&Policies; Inequality; Economic Theory&Research;

References

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  1. Beck, T.H.L. & Demirgüç-Kunt, A. & Levine, R., 2000. "A new database on financial development and structure," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125518, Tilburg University.
  2. Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley, 2001. "Inflation and the Poor," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 160-78, May.
  3. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  4. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001. "Growth is good for the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2587, The World Bank.
  5. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  6. Ross Levine & Norman Loayza & Thorsten Beck, 2002. "Financial Intermediation and Growth: Causality and Causes," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, Central Bank of Chile, in: Leonardo Hernández & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (S (ed.), Banking, Financial Integration, and International Crises, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 2, pages 031-084 Central Bank of Chile.
  7. Caselli, Francesco & Esquivel, Gerardo & Lefort, Fernando, 1996. " Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 363-89, September.
  8. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 1997. "What Can New Survey Data Tell Us about Recent Changes in Distribution and Poverty?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 357-82, May.
  9. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  10. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Governance matters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2196, The World Bank.
  11. Padma Desai (ed.), 1997. "Going Global: Transition from Plan to Market in the World Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262041618, December.
  12. Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  13. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  14. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to Cross-National Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. repec:umd:umdeco:rodriguez9901 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "A Data Set on Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics 575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. David Goldbaum, 2004. "Coordinated Investing with Feedback and Learning," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark 2004-008, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  2. Eric Edmonds & Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Does Globalization Increase Child Labor? Evidence from Vietnam," NBER Working Papers 8760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Deininger, Klaus & Songqing Jin, 2003. "Land sales and rental markets in transition - evidence from rural Viet Nam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3013, The World Bank.
  4. Patricia Justino & Julie Litchfield, 2003. "Poverty Dynamics in Rural Vietnam: Winners and Losers During Reform," PRUS Working Papers, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex 10, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.

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