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Local trajectories in the Vietnamese transition to market economy: Alliances between firms, farmers and government officials in the dairy industry

Duteurtre G., Pannier E.. 2016. Berkeley : SASE, 24 p.. Annual Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. 28, 2016-06-08/2016-06-10, Berkeley (Etats-Unis).

Since the end of 1980s, the liberalization of the Vietnamese economy has led to the rapid emergence of a private dairy sector. This fast development can be understood as a major institutional change from centrally planned and collectivist economy to market economy. We analyze this institutional change using the political-cultural approach (Fligstein, 2001). We collected data and interviewed stakeholders in the Ba Vi District (North of Vietnam), where dairy has become an important economic activity, as well as at national level. Our approach considers the historical transformation that happened in the last 30 years. We analyze 4 types of rules (or social structures) that shape the current architecture of markets: property rights, governance structure, rules of exchange and conception of control. We show how those rules result from conflicts or alliances between farmers, firms and government officials in the attempt to stabilize the market. We consider in particular how stakeholders response to crises on the market. In Ba Vi, we observe an original market structure where the alliance between the State, the farmers and some dairy corporation has led to the emergence of an inclusive system. However, since the Melamine Crisis in 2008, and in the context of new liberal economic policies, the IDP dairy industry has become dominant in the market. In an attempt to reduce the competition for the collection of milk in the District, a new alliance between this firm and the local Government has emerged, which appears to be less inclusive. Our results also point out that the consumers and the media are playing an increasingly important role in the formation of those institutions. Through reputation and trust mechanisms, consumers are in position of legitimating ¿ or challenging this new capitalist market structure.

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