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The Welfare State: Vietnamese Development And Swedish Experiences

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to track the development of three components of the Vietnamese welfare state since the introduction of market-oriented economic reforms in the late 1980s: education, health, and social insurance. This is done with reference to Sweden's historical experiences of economic and social development. While Vietnam has achieved remarkable success in both the education and health sectors, with increasing literacy rates, school enrolment rates, and improving health indicators, it is clear that the Vietnamese welfare state is fragmented. Access to social services and social security varies across social groups and geographical regions, and some parts of society are becoming marginalized, in the sense that they -and their children- have limited possibilities to improve their living standards, or to benefit from the general development of the Vietnamese society. On the basis of Swedish experiences, the authors argue for gradually increased investments in the social sectors and a stronger focus on universal rather than means-tested benefits, and provide some more specific suggestions for reforms in education, health, and social insurance.

Suggested Citation

  • Kokko , Ari & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik, 2007. "The Welfare State: Vietnamese Development And Swedish Experiences," EIJS Working Paper Series 235, Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:eijswp:0235
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    Keywords

    Vietnam; economic reforms; education; health care; social insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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