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The Historical State, Local Collective Action, and Economic Development in Vietnam

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  • Melissa Dell
  • Nathan Lane
  • Pablo Querubin

Abstract

This study examines how the historical state conditions long‐run development, using Vietnam as a laboratory. Northern Vietnam (Dai Viet) was ruled by a strong, centralized state in which the village was the fundamental administrative unit. Southern Vietnam was a peripheral tributary of the Khmer (Cambodian) Empire, which followed a patron‐client model with more informal, personalized power relations and no village intermediation. Using a regression discontinuity design, the study shows that areas exposed to Dai Viet administrative institutions for a longer period prior to French colonization have experienced better economic outcomes over the past 150 years. Rich historical data document that in Dai Viet villages, citizens have been better able to organize for public goods and redistribution through civil society and local government. We argue that institutionalized village governance crowded in local cooperation and that these norms persisted long after the original institutions disappeared.

Suggested Citation

  • Melissa Dell & Nathan Lane & Pablo Querubin, 2018. "The Historical State, Local Collective Action, and Economic Development in Vietnam," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 86(6), pages 2083-2121, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:emetrp:v:86:y:2018:i:6:p:2083-2121
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.3982/ECTA15122
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    Cited by:

    1. Cornelius Christian, 2017. "Elites, Weather Shocks, And Witchcraft Trials In Scotland," Working Papers 1704, Brock University, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:anr:reveco:v:10:y:2018:p:383-410 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2018. "Spatial Patterns of Development: A Meso Approach," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 10(1), pages 383-410, August.
    4. Barker, Tom & Üngör, Murat, 2019. "Vietnam: The next asian Tiger?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 96-118.
    5. Melissa Dell & Benjamin A. Olken, 2017. "The Development Effects of the Extractive Colonial Economy: The Dutch Cultivation System in Java," NBER Working Papers 24009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jacqueline Doremus, 2018. "Unintended Impacts from Forest Certification: Evidence from Indigenous Aka Households in Congo," Working Papers 1804, California Polytechnic State University, Department of Economics.
    7. David K Levine, 2019. "The Reputation Trap," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000001516, David K. Levine.
    8. Michalopoulos, Stelios & Xue, Melanie Meng, 2019. "Folklore," CEPR Discussion Papers 13425, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Evans Peter & Heller Patrick, 2018. "The state and development," WIDER Working Paper Series 112, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Ho, Hoang-Anh & Martinsson, Peter & Olsson, Ola, 2017. "The Origins of Cultural Divergence: Evidence from a Developing Country," Working Papers in Economics 714, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2018.
    11. Bukowski, Paweł, 2018. "How history matters for student performance: lessons from the Partitions of Poland," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 90643, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. repec:eee:jcecon:v:47:y:2019:i:1:p:136-175 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N15 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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