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Does rising landlessness signal success or failure for Vietnam's agrarian transition?

Listed author(s):
  • Ravallion, Martin
  • van de Walle, Dominique

In the wake of reforms to establish a free market in land-use rights, Vietnam is experiencing a pronounced rise in rural landlessness. To some observers this is a harmless by-product of a more efficient economy, while to others it signals the return of the pre-socialist class-structure, with the rural landless at the bottom of the economic ladder. The authors'theoretical model suggests that removing restrictions on land markets will increase landlessness among the poor, but that there will be both gainers and losers, with uncertain impacts on aggregate poverty. Empirically, they find that landlessness is less likely for the poor and that the observedrise in landlessness is poverty reducing on balance. However, there are marked regional differences, notably between the north and the south.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3871.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2006
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3871
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  18. van de Walle, Dominique & Gunewardena, Dileni, 2001. "Sources of ethnic inequality in Viet Nam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 177-207, June.
  19. Akram-Lodhi, A.H., 2001. "Landlords are taking back the land: the agrarian transition in Vietnam," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19098, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  20. Zhou, J.M., 1998. "Is Nominal Public but de Facto Private Land Ownership Appropriate? A Comparative Study among Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam; Japan; Taiwan Provice of China; South Korea; China; Myanmar; and North Korea," Economics Working Papers eco98/12, European University Institute.
  21. Li, Guo & Rozelle, Scott & Brandt, Loren, 1998. "Tenure, land rights, and farmer investment incentives in China," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(1-2), pages 63-71, September.
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  24. Glewwe, Paul & Jacoby, Hanan G., 2004. "Economic growth and the demand for education: is there a wealth effect?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 33-51, June.
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