Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 267: Cambodia: The Challenge of Productive Employment Creation

Sophal Chan , Martin Godfrey , Toshiyasu Kato , Vou Piseth Long , Nina Orlova , Per Ronnås and Savora Tia
Additional contact information
Sophal Chan: Cambodia Resource Development Institute, Postal: P.O. Box 622, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Martin Godfrey: Cambodia Resource Development Institute, Postal: P.O. Box 622, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Toshiyasu Kato: Cambodia Resource Development Institute, Postal: P.O. Box 622, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Vou Piseth Long: Cambodia Resource Development Institute, Postal: P.O. Box 622, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Nina Orlova: Institute of Social Studies, Postal: P.O. Box 29776, 2502 LT The Hague, The Netherlands
Per Ronnås: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Savora Tia: Cambodia Resource Development Institute, Postal: P.O. Box 622, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Abstract: Economic growth in Cambodia came to an abrupt halt in 1997 as the home made political crisis and the external financial crisis took their toll. However, Cambodia has been comparatively mildly affected by the Asian crisis and provided that political stability can be achieved there are good chances that the economic decline in 1997 will become little more than a parenthesis. A more fundamental development challenge facing the country is the very rapid increase in the labour force as the large cohorts born in the early 1980s enter the labour market. A major weakness in the economic development to date has been its narrow base. It has largely been attributed to growth in the urban industrial and services sectors, while the performance of agriculture has been rather lacklustre. The twin goals of productive employment generation and poverty alleviation will require a much more dynamic development of agriculture and of the rural economy as a whole to succeed. Access to productive assets - that is land, physical and human capital - and insecurity arising from the absence of rule of law are identified as the factors with the strongest bearing on poverty.

Keywords: Cambodia; economic development

JEL-codes: J21; O11; O13; O15; O53

88 pages, October 12, 1998

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