The Gender Implications of Public Sector Downsizing: The Reform Program of Vietnam
Posted: 29 Feb 2008
Using data from Vietnam, this article describes several types of analysis that could be conducted before launching a major downsizing operation to identify possible gender effects. It draws several conclusions about Vietnam's downsizing reforms. First, although women's prospects of obtaining salaried jobs following displacement from state-owned enterprise worsened as a result of recent reforms, they are likely to improve in the near future. Second, reforms are associated with a sharp decline in the gender gap in earnings, both in and outside the state sector. Third, overstaffing is greatest in sectors in which most employees are men, such as construction, mining, and transportation; it is much less prevalent in sectors in which women dominate the work force, such as footwear, textiles, and garments. Fourth, training and assistance programs currently in place to help redundant workers reveal no evidence of strong gender bias. Fifth, severance packages based on a multiple of earnings are more favorable to men, whereas lump-sum packages favor women.
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