Vietnam has undergone a significant change from a relatively closed economy as a result of the reform process initiated in the late 1980s. This has been accompanied by rapid economic growth and substantial poverty reduction during the 1990s. Since one of the main mechanisms through which greater openness is expected to lead to poverty reduction is via the labour market, the paper examines the impact which trade flows have had on employment in Vietnam since the early 1990s. Using a variety of different methods, the paper shows that the growth of exports has had a significant positive effect on employment, while increased import competition had a negative effect both directly and indirectly through rationalization of producers facing foreign competition.
Journal of International Development (2004) 16 (1) 13-28 [DOI: 10.1002/jid.1060]