Trade Liberalisation and Poverty Reduction in Vietnam
Nguyen Khanh Doanh
This paper investigates the impacts of trade liberalisation on poverty reduction in Vietnam during the period of economic reform. Using a combined approach dealing with four transmitting channels from trade to poverty, the major findings are summarised as follows. First, Vietnam's trade liberalisation has fostered economic growth, which has helped to raise per capita GDP and reduce poverty. Second, trade liberalisation has directly benefited the poor through creating pro-poor employment and raising wages. Third, another impact of trade liberalisation on poverty is income and substitution effects associated with reduced domestic prices of importables and increased domestic prices of exportables such as coffee and rice. Fourth, trade liberalisation has indirectly benefited the poor because it raises government revenue, which enhances the government's ability to subsidise the poor. Finally, although the poverty rate in Vietnam has been reduced impressively, there is an increasing disparity between urban and rural areas and, among the latter, concern does exist regarding ethnic minorities. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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