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How to grow quickly: land distribution, agricultural growth and poverty reduction in Vietnam (1992-1998)

Ngo, Thi Minh-Phuong (2005) How to grow quickly: land distribution, agricultural growth and poverty reduction in Vietnam (1992-1998). PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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This thesis explores how, in the wake of momentous agrarian reforms implemented during the 1980s and 1990s, Vietnam succeeded in generating both a strong increase in agricultural growth, and remarkable trends in poverty reduction. Three specific channels of transmission between agricultural growth and rural poverty reduction are explored and evaluated empirically using the Vietnamese Living Standard Survey. Chapter 2 investigates the impact on agricultural investments of the strengthening in tenure security induced by Vietnam's 1993 Land Law, which set up a new land tenure system based on de jure private property rights. Idiosyncratic characteristics of Vietnam's land reform and the panel nature of the VLSS are taken advantage of to capture the exogenous changes in tenure security brought by the 1993 Land Law. By interpreting the results in the light of Vietnam's agrarian history, I shed light on the role of formal institutions during the process of establishing a new private property right system. Chapter 3 explores the role of education in promoting agricultural growth and documents how, in the 1980s, Vietnam emerged from thirty years of war with literacy levels that are normally achieved by middle-income countries. The differential in educational attainment between North and South Vietnam is used to devise an instrumental variable strategy and to evaluate the contribution of Vietnam's high initial education levels to rice yields. The results confirm the importance of literacy and numeracy skills as pre-conditions for agricultural growth but highlight the importance of non-linearities in the impact of schooling, and of factoring in information on the quality in education in order to better understand the processes through which education affects economic efficiency. Finally, Chapter 4 showed that growth in the agricultural sector had been remarkably pro-poor as it benefited even the poorest of the poor, probably because of favourable initial conditions for pro-poor agricultural growth.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2005 Thi Minh-Phuong Ngo
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Sets: Departments > International Development
Collections > LSE History of Thought theses
Supervisor: Goldstein, Markus and Lipton, Michael

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