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Trade Liberalisation and Poverty Reduction in Vietnam


  • Yoon Heo
  • Nguyen Khanh Doanh


This paper investigates the impacts of trade liberalisation on poverty reduction in Vietnam during the period of economic reform. Using a combined approach dealing with four transmitting channels from trade to poverty, the major findings are summarised as follows. First, Vietnam's trade liberalisation has fostered economic growth, which has helped to raise per capita GDP and reduce poverty. Second, trade liberalisation has directly benefited the poor through creating pro-poor employment and raising wages. Third, another impact of trade liberalisation on poverty is income and substitution effects associated with reduced domestic prices of importables and increased domestic prices of exportables such as coffee and rice. Fourth, trade liberalisation has indirectly benefited the poor because it raises government revenue, which enhances the government's ability to subsidise the poor. Finally, although the poverty rate in Vietnam has been reduced impressively, there is an increasing disparity between urban and rural areas and, among the latter, concern does exist regarding ethnic minorities. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Yoon Heo & Nguyen Khanh Doanh, 2009. "Trade Liberalisation and Poverty Reduction in Vietnam," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(6), pages 934-964, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:32:y:2009:i:6:p:934-964

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baltagi, Badi H. & Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2003. "A generalized design for bilateral trade flow models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 391-397, September.
    2. James Harrigan, 2001. "Specialization and the Volume of Trade: Do the Data Obey the Laws?," NBER Working Papers 8675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Matthieu Bussière & Jarko Fidrmuc & Bernd Schnatz, 2005. "Trade Integration of Central and Eastern European Countries: Lessons from a Gravity Model," Working Papers 105, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    4. I-Hui Cheng & Howard J. Wall, 2005. "Controlling for heterogeneity in gravity models of trade and integration," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 49-63.
    5. Raymond Vernon, 1970. "The Technology Factor in International Trade," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number vern70-1, January.
    6. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-623, June.
    7. Peter Egger & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2003. "The proper panel econometric specification of the gravity equation: A three-way model with bilateral interaction effects," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 571-580, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Emiliano Magrini & Pierluigi Montalbano, 2012. "Trade openness and vulnerability to poverty: Vietnam in the long-run (1992-2008)," Working Paper Series 3512, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    2. Le, Minh Son, 2014. "Trade openness and household welfare within a country: A microeconomic analysis of Vietnamese households," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 56-70.
    3. Emiliano Magrini & Pierluigi Montalbano & L. Alan Winters, 2017. "Vulnerability from trade in Vietnam," Working Paper Series 2017, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.

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