Land Allocation in Vietnam's Agrarian Transition

25 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Martin Ravallion

Martin Ravallion

Georgetown University

Dominique P. van de Walle

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: January 2003


While liberalizing key factor markets is a crucial step in the transition from a socialist control-economy to a market economy, the process can be stalled by imperfect information, high transaction costs, and covert resistance from entrenched interests. Ravallion and van de Walle study land-market adjustment in the wake of Vietnam's reforms aiming to establish a free market in land-use rights following de-collectivization. Inefficiencies in the initial administrative allocation are measured against an explicit counterfactual market solution. The authors' tests using a farm-household panel data set spanning the reforms suggest that land allocation responded positively but slowly to the inefficiencies of the administrative allocation. They find no sign that the transition favored the land rich or that it was thwarted by the continuing power over land held by local officials.

This paper - a joint product of the Poverty Team and the Public Services Team, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to understand the welfare impacts of major policy reforms.

Suggested Citation

Ravallion, Martin and van de Walle, Dominique P., Land Allocation in Vietnam's Agrarian Transition (January 2003). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2951. Available at SSRN:

Martin Ravallion (Contact Author)

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Dominique P. Van de Walle

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-7935 (Phone)
202-522-1154 (Fax)


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