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Welfare-to-work: experience in the emerging Vietnamese welfare state


  • Phuc Nguyen
  • Mark Considine
  • Siobhan O’Sullivan


The redevelopment of the welfare regimes of former socialist states since the terminal crisis of state socialism in the early 1980s is an emerging field of scholarship. This article contributes to this work by investigating welfare-to-work in a less-studied case, contemporary Vietnam. The research indicates that Vietnam’s newly emerged employment assistance framework represents a blend of certain aspects of the Bismarckian welfare type with earnings-related contributory social insurance measures and the Beveridge-type of flat-rate tax-financed social protection. It is also a little more liberal than the regimes of capitalist welfare states by adopting a so-called “socialisation” approach to fight unemployment. Unlike European, American and some north Asian experience, there are no signs of contracting-out of service delivery informed by new public management principles. Its funding model sits somewhere between a public employment services (PES) system and a private recruitment agency-based system. It is a hybrid model, wherein public offices deliver government-funded assistance but also receive outcome fee payments from employers. It motivates jobseekers to work, thus lowering the unemployment rate. However, its actual implementation is challenged by significant administrative problems, including a considerable amount of red tape.

Suggested Citation

  • Phuc Nguyen & Mark Considine & Siobhan O’Sullivan, 2016. "Welfare-to-work: experience in the emerging Vietnamese welfare state," Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 270-280, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rapaxx:v:38:y:2016:i:4:p:270-280
    DOI: 10.1080/23276665.2016.1253957

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