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Moving out of Agriculture: Structural Change in Vietnam

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  • Brian McCaig
  • Nina Pavcnik

Abstract

We examine the role of structural change in the economic development of Vietnam from 1990 to 2008. Structural change accounted for a third of the growth in aggregate labor productivity during this period, which averaged 5.1 percent per annum. We discuss the role of reforms in agriculture, enterprises, and international integration in this process. In addition to the drastic move of employment away from agriculture toward services and manufacturing, we also document the movement of workers away from household businesses toward firms in the enterprise sector, and the reallocation of workers from state owned firms toward private domestic and foreign owned firms. Manufacturing experienced particularly rapid growth in labor productivity and a large expansion of employment, as it grew from 8 to 14 percent of the workforce. Changes in trade policy, expansion of employment in foreign owned firms, and the declining role of state owned enterprises robustly contributed toward the changing structure of employment within manufacturing.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian McCaig & Nina Pavcnik, 2013. "Moving out of Agriculture: Structural Change in Vietnam," NBER Working Papers 19616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19616
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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