Street Vendors and the Dynamics of the Informal Economy: Evidence from Vung Tau, Vietnam

  •  John Walsh    


The role of the informal economy in promoting genuine economic development remains a contested one: optimists believe potential entrepreneurs are capable of supporting themselves and their families, perhaps with the assistance of interventions; pessimists, meanwhile, see such individuals as being subject to the forces of global capitalism with which they cannot contend and who must survive increasingly difficult housing, living and environmental conditions which threaten their security. Previous research of street vendors in Bangkok indicated some support for both points of view and this paper extends the research to Vung Tau in Vietnam, which is an oil industry centre and emerging tourist resort. To what extent are vendors able to upgrade their products and business models to take advantage of the new demands available and what difficulties do they face in their work? To date, they have not been able to take advantage of such opportunities.

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