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Liberalisation, the World Bank and investment in the electricity systems of Vietnam

Liberalisation, the World Bank and investment in the electricity systems of Vietnam

Nguyen, Tue Anh (2017) Liberalisation, the World Bank and investment in the electricity systems of Vietnam. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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The primary focus of this thesis is on three fundamental research questions: the analytical issue of how investment in power generation happens; the policy issue of how to develop the power sector to meet the economic and social needs of development; and what is the impact of liberalisation policies on both these issues. It addresses these questions through the case study of Vietnam.

The theoretical literature on liberalisation theorised away the role of the state that had grown under post-war Keynesian consensus. Applied to the electricity sector, this called for the unbundling of the vertically-integrated public monopolies, in the expectation of sufficient private investment, lower prices and greater efficiency.

The empirical literature shows that these expectations have not been generally fulfilled. Chapter 3 reviews the evidence from a wide range of countries including 4 developed countries in Europe and 13 developing countries in other continents. Developing countries have made significant progress in achieving extension of networks and increasing generating capacity regardless of the extent of liberalization.

Chapter 4 presents a critique of the lack of data and inadequate data quality from major data sources and shows the need to construct a new database. The Power Sector Database was then constructed with the aim to collect complete data of all power generation projects in Vietnam, their investors and financiers. The spreadsheet containing the database is submitted to the examiners along with the thesis.

Chapters 5, 6 and 7 use the database: to analyse the dynamics and actors in the power sector in Vietnam; the specific policy role of the World Bank in promoting liberalisation, and its cost; and the actual role of public and private, domestic and foreign investors.

The thesis concludes that the benefits gained so far from liberalisation are minimal, whereas the costs to the power sector as well as the society are much larger. Finally, it argues that the results show the weakness of mainstream economic theories of the public sector and public services, and argues for the need to move away from the idea that scarcity must be central.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Investment; electricity market liberalisation; Vietnam; market behaviour; power sector;
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2019 16:29

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