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Integration in the Absence of Institutions: China-North Korea Cross-Border Exchange

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  • Marcus Noland

    ()
    (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Stephan Haggard

    ()
    (University of California, San Diego Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies)

  • Jennifer Lee

    (Eurasia Group)

Abstract

Theory tells us that weak rule of law and institutions deter cross-border integration, deter investment relative to trade, and inhibit trade finance. Drawing on a survey of more than 300 Chinese enterprises that are doing or have done business in North Korea, we consider how informal institutions have addressed these problems in a setting in which rule of law and institutions are particularly weak. Given the apparent reliance on hedging strategies, the rapid growth in exchange witnessed in recent years may prove self-limiting, as the effectiveness of informal institutions erode and the risk premium rises. Institutional improvement could have significant welfare implications, affecting the volume, composition, and financial terms of cross-border exchange.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Peterson Institute for International Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number WP11-13.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp11-13

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Keywords: economic integration; property rights; institutions; transition; China; North Korea;

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References

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  1. Haggard, Stephan & Noland, Marcus, 2010. "Reform from below: Behavioral and institutional change in North Korea," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 133-152, February.
  2. Shang-Jin Wei, 1997. "How Taxing is Corruption on International Investors?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 63, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  3. McMillan, John & Woodruff, Christopher, 1999. "Dispute Prevention without Courts in Vietnam," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 637-58, October.
  4. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, S.J., 1999. "Insecurity and the Pattern of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 418, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 03 Aug 2000.
  5. John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 1999. "Interfirm Relationships And Informal Credit In Vietnam," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1285-1320, November.
  6. Stephan Haggard & Marcus Noland, 2008. "Famine in North Korea Redux?," Economics Study Area Working Papers 97, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
  7. Paul R. Milgrom & Douglass C. North & Barry R. Weingast, 1990. "The Role Of Institutions In The Revival Of Trade: The Law Merchant, Private Judges, And The Champagne Fairs," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 1-23, 03.
  8. Stephan Haggard & Marcus Noland, 2010. "The Winter of Their Discontent: Pyongyang Attacks the Market," Policy Briefs PB10-1, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  9. Clay, Karen, 1997. "Trade without Law: Private-Order Institutions in Mexican California," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 202-31, April.
  10. Greif, Avner & Milgrom, Paul & Weingast, Barry R, 1994. "Coordination, Commitment, and Enforcement: The Case of the Merchant Guild," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 745-76, August.
  11. Clay, Karen, 1997. "Trade, Institutions, and Credit," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 495-521, October.
  12. Lin, Feng-Jyh, 2010. "The determinants of foreign direct investment in China: The case of Taiwanese firms in the IT industry," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 479-485, May.
  13. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
  14. Marcus Noland & Stephan Haggard, 2011. "Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights into North Korea," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 4389, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Marcus Noland, 2014. "Going Beyond Economic Engagement: Why South Korea Should Press the North on Labor Standards and Practices," Policy Briefs PB14-12, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  2. Stephan Haggard & Marcus Noland, 2012. "The Microeconomics of North--South Korean Cross-border Integration," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(3), pages 407-430, September.
  3. Marcus Noland & Stephan Haggard, 2012. "Networks, Trust, and Trade: The Microeconomics of China–North Korea Integration," Working Paper Series WP12-8, Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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