This clear and accessible text explores Vietnam's successful transition from neo-Stalinist central planning to a market economy—"Vietnamese style." After describing the north Vietnamese system prior to 1975 and its colonial and precolonial antecedents, the authors uncover the mechanisms of that changeover. They contend that the Vietnamese transition was largely bottom-up in character and that it evolved over a long enough period for the country's political economy to adjust. This explains in part the rapid shift to a high-growth, externally oriented development path in the early 1990s, despite the loss of Soviet aid and the lack of significant Western substitutes until 1992-1993. Based upon extensive incountry experience, a wealth of primary materials, and wide comparative knowledge of development issues, the book challenges many preconceived notions, both about Vietnam and about the general nature of transition processes.
Preface -- Introduction -- The Nature of Economic Transition -- Historical Context -- Basic Constraints: Natural, Human, and Organizational -- Development Strategy -- Markets and Sectors -- Social Aspects, Equity, and the New Development Model -- Accumulation, Savings, and Market Development: Processes of Change Reconsidered -- Macroeconomic Stability: The Role of the State -- Conclusions: Tiger on a Bicycle?