Determinants of well-being in North Korea: Evidence from the post-famine period
AbstractNorth Korea has survived the breakdown of the communist bloc and has been immune to the democratization process of the 1990s. In spite of national famines and economic collapse, the totalitarian regime in Pyongyang maintains a firm grip on its power. Reliable information on the population's biosocial welfare is scarce. Using height and weight data of 5991 North Korean pre-school children measured in 2002, we investigate determinants of height-for-age z-score (HAZ), weight-for-age z-score (WAZ) and weight-for-height z-score (WHZ) as an indicator for child health. We find a statistically significant impact of the age of the child and of the mother, as well as the sex of the child on HAZ and WAZ. In contrast, social status and wealth proxies at the individual and household level are not statistically significant possibly because of errors in these variables. We do not find a consistent effect for geographic regions or for rural-urban residents either. Yet, urban provinces seem to be better-off. Most importantly, we find that children living in families who benefit from food aid of the United Nations are healthier in terms of HAZ, WAZ and WHZ than those depending on the government. Hence, further delivery of United Nations food aid is likely to mitigate the effects of the ongoing food crisis in North Korea.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.
Volume (Year): 6 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964
North Korea DPRK Anthropometry Health Standard of living Child malnutrition Human biology Famine Food aid Socio-economics Human biology;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Marcus Noland, 2004.
"Famine and Reform in North Korea,"
Asian Economic Papers,
MIT Press, vol. 3(2), pages 1-40.
- Pak, Sunyoung, 2004. "The biological standard of living in the two Koreas," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 511-518, December.
- Richard H. Steckel, 2008.
"Heights and Human Welfare: Recent Developments and New Directions,"
NBER Working Papers
14536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Steckel, Richard H., 2009. "Heights and human welfare: Recent developments and new directions," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-23, January.
- Schwekendiek, Daniel & Pak, Sunyoung, 2009. "Recent growth of children in the two Koreas: A meta-analysis," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 109-112, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wendy Shamier).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.