WP-16: Learning, Upgrading, and Innovation in the Telecommunications Industry in Vietnam: A Rent Management Analysis
This paper analyzes the industrial success of the telecommunications industry in Vietnam using developmental rent management analysis (DRMA). The empirical evidence for this study is primarily based on 42 semi-structured interviews with government officials, firm managers, suppliers, workers, and industry experts from 2010 to 2012. DRMA suggests that the industry’s success was based on a number of rent management factors that corrected certain market failures and encouraged significant effort for learning and technology adoption. These factors were fundamentally based on: (1) favorable political supports for rent creation from the state, (2) an effective structure of rent allocation and implementation, and (3) credible incentives and pressures that encouraged industrial upgrading. While each factor by itself was insufficient to ensure the success of the industry, their synthesis was such that Vietnamese telecom operators, in particular Viettel Group, were motivated and compelled to rapidly expand their industrial capability through technical learning and upgrading.
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