Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Accounting, Economics and Finance


The thesis analyzes the evolution of productivity in Vietnam‟s manufacturing sector during the period 2000-2010 from a number of perspectives. Firstly, total factor productivity of manufacturing firms is measured by using firm-level panel data and the semi-parametric approaches developed by Olley and Pakes (1996) and Levinsohn and Petrin (2003). After obtaining TFP index at firm-level and aggregate level, productivity performance is explored in three aspects: (i) the evolution of productivity distributions, (ii) the differences in productivity across firm characteristics, and (iii) the components of industry productivity growth. The study finds that the productivity of Vietnamese manufacturing firms have improved over the period 2000-2010. Large firms have a higher productivity level than smaller firms. Foreign firms are more productive than domestic firms, while private-owned enterprises are more productive than state-owned enterprises. Another important finding is that aggregate productivity growth is mainly attributed to intra-firm productivity improvement rather than the reallocation of resources and market share across firms within industry.

Secondly, this thesis examines: (i) whether productivity differentials across turnover patterns and (ii) the contribution of a high entry rate to industry productivity growth. The results show significant differences in productivity that reflect turnover patterns. In particular, continuing firms are more productive than entering firms, while entering firms, in their turns, are more productive than exiting firms. In addition, the findings reveal net entry as a predominant source of aggregate productivity growth in Vietnam‟s manufacturing industries.

Thirdly, this thesis examines the relationship between trade liberalization and productivity growth of Vietnamese manufacturing firms. The results show a strong positive correlation of trade liberalization and firm productivity growth. Furthermore, the impact of trade liberalization could be lower in industries with higher levels of competition.

Fourthly, this thesis further examines whether foreign direct investment (FDI) generates productivity spillovers to domestic firms in Vietnam‟s manufacturing sector. The findings suggest that the presence of FDI is negatively correlated productivity growth of domestic firms in the same industry. Domestic firms positively obtain productivity growth from backward linkages, not from forward linkages. In addition, the findings provide the evidence for the determinants of firm‟s absorptive capacity and domestic competition condition on productivity growth of domestic firms.

FoR codes (2008)




Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.