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Child Mortality In China And Vietnam In A Comparative Perspective

Alberto, Gabriele and Schettino, Francesco (2006): Child Mortality In China And Vietnam In A Comparative Perspective.

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Abstract

This paper analyzes China’s and Vietnam’s performance in reducing under-five child mortality in a comparative perspective. Under the market socialist model, both countries achieved very high rates of GDP growth, but income distribution and the provision of key public services deteriorated. As a result, child mortality reduction in China and Vietnam was only partially satisfactory. However, although the former grew faster and is more economically developed, Vietnam’s record in this area was markedly better than China’s. We show that this apparent paradox is due mainly to two reasons. One is related to the relative status of women, which is better in Vietnam than in China. The other stems from the fact that the perverse side-effects of market-oriented reforms (such as worsening income distribution and degradation of essential public services) have reached a more advanced and alarming stage in China than in Vietnam.

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