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Exit polls: Refugee assessments of North Korea's transition

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  • Chang, Yoonok
  • Haggard, Stephan
  • Noland, Marcus

Abstract

Results from a survey of more than 1300 North Korean refugees in China provide insight into changing economic conditions in North Korea. There is modest evidence of slightly more positive assessments among those who exited the country following the initiation of reforms in 2002. Education breeds skepticism; higher levels of education were associated with more negative perceptions of economic conditions and reform efforts. Other demographic markers such as gender or provincial origin are not robustly correlated with attitudes. Instead, personal experiences appear to be central: a significant number of the respondents were unaware of the humanitarian aid program and the ones who knew of it almost universally did not believe that they were beneficiaries. This group's evaluation of the regime, its intentions, and accomplishments is overwhelmingly negative--even more so than those respondents who report having had experienced incarceration in political detention facilities--and attests to the powerful role that the famine experience continues to play in the political economy of the country. Journal of Comparative Economics 37 (1) (2009) 144-150.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 144-150

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:37:y:2009:i:1:p:144-150

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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Keywords: North Korea Transition Reform Refugees Famine Aid;

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References

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  1. Marcus Noland, 2000. "Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 94, July.
  2. Noland, Marcus & Robinson, Sherman & Wang, Tao, 2001. "Famine in North Korea: Causes and Cures," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(4), pages 741-67, July.
  3. Marcus Noland, 2003. "Famine and Reform in North Korea," Working Paper Series, Peterson Institute for International Economics WP03-5, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  4. Stephan Haggard & Marcus Noland, 2008. "Famine in North Korea Redux?," Economics Study Area Working Papers, East-West Center, Economics Study Area 97, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
  5. Stephan Haggard & Marcus Noland, 2007. "North Korea’s External Economic Relations," Working Paper Series, Peterson Institute for International Economics WP07-7, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  6. Marcus Noland, 2004. "Korea after Kim Jong-il," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa71, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Katzeff Silberstein, Benjamin, 2010. "North Korea: Fading Totalitarianism in the "Hermit Kingdom"," Working Paper Series, Research Institute of Industrial Economics 836, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Noland, Marcus & Haggard, Stephan, 2010. "Political attitudes under repression: evidence from North Korean refugees," MPRA Paper 21713, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Haggard, Stephan & Noland, Marcus, 2010. "Reform from below: Behavioral and institutional change in North Korea," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 133-152, February.
  4. Noland, Marcus & Haggard, Stephan, 2009. "Repression and punishment in North Korea: survey evidence of prison camp experiences," MPRA Paper 17705, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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