Does firm privatisation benefit local households? The case of Vietnam

Giang Thanh Long, Nguyen Viet Cuong, Vu Thieu, and Vu Van Huong

Post-Communist Economies, Vol. 27, No. 4, 547–565.


Although most countries follow a market economy, they still maintain a number of state-owned firms. In Vietnam the process of firm privatisation has been going on since the early 1990s. However, state-owned firms and joint-venture firms with public capital still account for nearly 40% of total firm output. In this article we find that the privatisation of firms can help households improve their welfare and reduce poverty, albeit by a small magnitude. The agglomeration of firms, as a result of privatisation, increases employment and wages of individuals and thus has a positive effect on per capita income, per capita expenditure and poverty reduction. In particular, the effect on per capita expenditure tends to be higher for households with male, younger and better educated heads than those with female, older and less well educated heads. We do not find any effect from state-owned firms on household welfare and poverty reduction.

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