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The Gender Implications of Public Sector Downsizing: The Reform Program of Vietnam

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  • MartÌn Rama

Abstract

Using data from Vietnam, this article describes several types of analysis that could be conducted before launching a major downsizing operation to identify possible gender effects. It draws several conclusions about Vietnam's downsizing reforms. First, although women's prospects of obtaining salaried jobs following displacement from state-owned enterprise worsened as a result of recent reforms, they are likely to improve in the near future. Second, reforms are associated with a sharp decline in the gender gap in earnings, both in and outside the state sector. Third, overstaffing is greatest in sectors in which most employees are men, such as construction, mining, and transportation; it is much less prevalent in sectors in which women dominate the work force, such as footwear, textiles, and garments. Fourth, training and assistance programs currently in place to help redundant workers reveal no evidence of strong gender bias. Fifth, severance packages based on a multiple of earnings are more favorable to men, whereas lump-sum packages favor women. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • MartÌn Rama, 2002. "The Gender Implications of Public Sector Downsizing: The Reform Program of Vietnam," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 167-189, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:17:y:2002:i:2:p:167-189
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Belser, Patrick, 2000. "Vietnam - on the road to labor-intensive growth ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2389, The World Bank.
    2. Belser, Patrick & Rama, Martin, 2001. "State ownership and labor redundancy - estimates based on enterprise-level data from Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2599, The World Bank.
    3. Appleton, Simon & Hoddinott, John & Krishnan, Pramila, 1999. "The Gender Wage Gap in Three African Countries," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 289-312, January.
    4. Rama, Martin, 1999. "Public Sector Downsizing: An Introduction," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 1-22, January.
    5. Ariel Fiszbein, 1994. "An opportunity cost approach to redundancy compensation: an application to Sri Lanka," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 21(esp Year ), pages 113-126, November.
    6. Rama, Martin & MacIsaac, Donna, 1999. "Earnings and Welfare after Downsizing: Central Bank Employees in Ecuador," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 89-116, January.
    7. Assaad, Ragui, 1999. "Matching Severance Payments with Worker Losses in the Egyptian Public Sector," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 117-153, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pham, Thai-Hung & Reilly, Barry, 2007. "The gender pay gap in Vietnam, 1993-2002: A quantile regression approach," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 775-808, October.
    2. Lakshman Chandrashekhar & Linh Chi Vo & Rani S. Ladha, 2015. "Equity Portfolio Incentives to CEOs for Downsizing: Differential impacts on survivors vs. victims in three countries," Working papers 169, Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode.
    3. Nguyen Danh, Hoang Long, 2002. "public-private sector wage differentials for males and females in vietnam," MPRA Paper 6583, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Rijkers, Bob & Waxman, Andrew, 2011. "Ladies first ? firm-level evidence on the labor impacts of the East Asian crisis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5789, The World Bank.
    5. Anderson, Edward, 2005. "Openness and inequality in developing countries: A review of theory and recent evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1045-1063, July.
    6. Bales, Sarah & Rama, Martin, 2001. "Are public sector workers underpaid? - Appropriate comparators in a developing country," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2747, The World Bank.
    7. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Pandey, Manish, 2012. "Gender and labor retrenchment in Chinese state owned enterprises: Investigation using firm-level panel data," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 385-395.

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