This book, first published in 1987, examines the experience of the North Vietnamese economy during the struggle for national reunification and the Vietnam war. It chronicles the impact of war and Socialist Construction upon an extremely poor area left undeveloped by French colonial exploitation. The analysis focuses on the severe restraints that faced socio-economic development in North Vietnam, and the adverse effects of forced development based upon neo-Stalinist institutional models. Deep problems were encountered in attempting to implement Socialist Construction in the North, and wartime aid from fraternal Socialist countries masked the fundamental economic imbalances created by the development effort. After national reunification in 1975 the structural difficulties of the Northern economy and the shortcomings of its economic management system crushed the expectations of rapid peacetime development and led to the economic crisis of the late 1970s.
Part 1. Problems of Economic Management in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam 1. The Historical Inheritance: The Constraints of Time and Place 2. The DRV: Immediate Origins, Problems of the Transition and Basic Structure, The Aggravated Shortage Economy 3. Constraints in Operation: The Creation of an Aggravated Shortage Economy and the Deterioration of Domestic and Foreign Balances 4. Population Growth and Structural Change 5. Industry 6. Agriculture and Forced Development: The Peasantry Copes 7. Conclusions: The Limits of National Liberation Part2. Statistical Appendix