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Cambodia: The Challenge of Productive Employment Creation


  • Chan, Sophal

    (Cambodia Resource Development Institute)

  • Godfrey, Martin

    (Cambodia Resource Development Institute)

  • Kato, Toshiyasu

    (Cambodia Resource Development Institute)

  • Long, Vou Piseth

    (Cambodia Resource Development Institute)

  • Orlova, Nina

    (Institute of Social Studies)

  • Ronnås, Per

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Tia, Savora

    (Cambodia Resource Development Institute)


Economic growth in Cambodia came to an abrupt halt in 1997 as the home made political crisis and the external financial crisis took their toll. However, Cambodia has been comparatively mildly affected by the Asian crisis and provided that political stability can be achieved there are good chances that the economic decline in 1997 will become little more than a parenthesis. A more fundamental development challenge facing the country is the very rapid increase in the labour force as the large cohorts born in the early 1980s enter the labour market. A major weakness in the economic development to date has been its narrow base. It has largely been attributed to growth in the urban industrial and services sectors, while the performance of agriculture has been rather lacklustre. The twin goals of productive employment generation and poverty alleviation will require a much more dynamic development of agriculture and of the rural economy as a whole to succeed. Access to productive assets - that is land, physical and human capital - and insecurity arising from the absence of rule of law are identified as the factors with the strongest bearing on poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Chan, Sophal & Godfrey, Martin & Kato, Toshiyasu & Long, Vou Piseth & Orlova, Nina & Ronnås, Per & Tia, Savora, 1998. "Cambodia: The Challenge of Productive Employment Creation," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 267, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0267

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Prescott, N. & Pradhan, M., 1997. "A Poverty Profile of Cambodia," World Bank - Discussion Papers 373, World Bank.
    2. Jayant Menon, 1998. "Laos in the ASEAN Free Trade Area: Trade, Revenue and Investment Implications," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 276, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sjöholm, Fredrik & Sjöberg, Örjan, 2005. "The Cambodian Economy: Ready For Take-Off?," EIJS Working Paper Series 209, Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.

    More about this item


    Cambodia; economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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