Capability Approach to Street Vendors in Vietnam

Nguyen, Ly (2012). "Capability Approach to Street Vendors in Vietnam" Paper presented at the 9th annual conference of the HDCA, 5-7 September 2012, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Street vending is not a new phenomenon, but one that is generally considered part of an underdeveloped and backward society primarily dominated by the informal sector, which will disappear once a country modernizes. In developing countries such as Vietnam, however, efforts to deter the activity have only been met with a street vending population growing faster than ever and contributing to urban livelihood. Using the Capability Approach pioneered by Amartya Sen, this paper justifies government policy to accommodate street vendors. It also seeks to evaluate the current situation of street vendors in Hanoi, Vietnam, using the Central Capabilities framework proposed by Martha Nussbaum, surveys of street vendors, and interviews with vendors and public officials. Finally, the author concludes with policy recommendations to enhance the capabilities of street vendors.

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