The Effects of Ethnic Chinese Minority on Vietnam’s Regional Economic Development in the Post-Vietnam War Period

2017-11-06T07:36:29Z (GMT) by Tuan Anh Nguyen-Viet Masami Imai
<p>This paper examines the impact of the Hoa, an ethnically Chinese, economically dominant minority, on regional economic development in Vietnam. To address the endogeneity of the geographical distribution of the Hoa, we use an important historical episode: the rapid deterioration in Sino-Vietnamese diplomatic relationship that led many ethnic Chinese to flee abroad, particularly to the refugee camps in the Guangxi province of China, in 1979. We find that the effects of proximity to the refugee camps on the share of ethnic Chinese in 1989 were more pronounced for provinces that had a larger presence of the ethnic Chinese population in 1979. We also find strong correlations between the 1989 share of ethnic Chinese (instrumented) and contemporary indicators of economic performance. The results suggest that the ethnic Chinese minority had positive economic impacts on Vietnam’s regional economies and that the post-Vietnam War exodus of ethnic Chinese was likely to have had long-term negative economic impacts.</p>