Abstract: Lao PDR has shown a strong record of economic growth and poverty alleviation since the early 1990s. Yet, the pace of economic development has varied significantly between different parts of the country – the rate of growth was initially faster in more developed areas, but after the mid-1990s growth has been stronger in poorer rural areas. Here it is shown that this pattern of regional development has been driven by the nature of market integration. This is highlighted in three case studies covering: (i) the effect of transport infrastructure and local institutions on domestic consumer good markets; (ii) the process of regional integration with neighboring countries; and (iii) the ability of Lao producers to compete on the world market for coffee.
Downloadable at http://swopec.hhs.se/eijswp/papers/eijswp0234.pdf.