Discussion Papers

No.189 The Feasibility of Cuban Market Economy: A Comparison with Vietnam

by YAMAOKA Kanako

March 2009


In spite of the difficulties incurred by its people, Cuba has maintained a centrally planned economy with single party system. On the contrary, Vietnam has introduced a market economy under communist rule, and succeeded in generally improving living standards. The factors that contributed to the introduction of Vietnamese-style reforms are (1) severe economic crisis, (2) demonstration effects from neighboring countries, (3) poor social policy, (4) initiatives by ex-conservative leader/s, and (5) weak state capacity. The conditions to sustain high economic growth are (1) social sectors familiar with capitalist economics, (2) abundant labor forces with relatively low labor cost, and (3) investment by exiles. This paper analyzes to what extent Cuba meets these conditions.

Keywords: economic reform, socialism, economic crisis, state capacity, governance, social policy, development strategy
FEL classification: P21, P30

PDF (104KB)

Please note that discussion papers are works in various stages of progress and most have not been edited and proofread and may contain errors of fact or judgment. Revised versions of these papers may subsequently appear in more formal publication series. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s). The IDE does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included and accepts no responsibility for any consequences arising from its use.