Empirical Studies on Social Capital, Land and Credit Institutions
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1.1 General introduction
Vietnam’s economic achievement over the past twenty years constitutes one of the most successful development stories of the last century (Glewwe et al., 2004). Classified among the world’s poorest countries at the end of the 1980s, Vietnam is now expecting to join the list of industrialized countries by 2020 (ADB, 2006). After a decade of remarkable success in the 1990s1, Vietnam has continued to progress in 2000–2010, and is ranked among the fastest growing economies of this decade (with an average annual growth rate of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 7.3% between 2000 and 2012 (World Bank, 2011))2. Moreover, economic growth has been pro-poor. The latest estimates from the Vietnam Household Living Standard Survey (VHLSS) indicate a nation-wide poverty incidence in 2008 of 13.1% (share of population living with less than 1.25 US$ in Purchasing Power Parity), a dramatic reduction from 49.7% in 1998 and 63.7% in 1993 (GSO, 2011).
The transformation of institutions has been at the heart of Vietnam’s transition strategy, and according to many observers, is a major key to the country’s success (Macours and Swinnen, 2002; Cornia and Popov, 2001; Montes, 2001; Rozelle and Swinnen, 2004; Ravallion and van de Walle, 2008b). The Doi Moi 3 reform program was enacted in 1986 at the VIth congress of the the communist party to guide the transition from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented system. Most of the reforms were...
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