Reform from below: Behavioral and institutional change in North Korea
The state is often conceptualized as playing an enabling role for economic development, providing public goods, such as the legal protection of property rights, with the political economy of reform conceived in terms of bargaining among elites or special interest groups. We document a case which turns this perspective on its head: efficiency-enhancing institutional and behavioral changes arising, not out of a conscious, top-down program of reform, but rather as unintended (and in some respects, unwanted) by-products of state failure. Responses from a survey of North Korean refugees demonstrate that the economy marketized in response to state failure with the onset of famine in the 1990s and subsequent reforms and retrenchments appear to have had remarkably little impact on at least some significant share of the population. There is strong evidence, however, of powerful social changes, including increasing inequality, corruption, and changed attitudes about the most effective pathways to higher social status and income. These assessments appear to be remarkably uniform across demographic groups. While the survey sample marginally over-weights demographic groups with less favorable assessments of the regime, even counterfactually re-calibrating the sample to match the underlying resident population suggests widespread dissatisfaction with the North Korean regime.
If 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.
References listed on IDEAS
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, 2000. "Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 94, January.
- Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991.
"Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
- Chang, Yoonok & Haggard, Stephan & Noland, Marcus, 2009.
"Exit polls: Refugee assessments of North Korea's transition,"
Journal of Comparative Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 144-150, March.
- Yoonok Chang & Stephan Haggard & Marcus Noland, 2008. "Exit Polls: Refugee Assessments of North Korea's Transition," Working Paper Series WP08-1, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
- Stephan Haggard & Marcus Noland, 2008.
"Famine in North Korea Redux?,"
Working Paper Series
WP08-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
- Powell, Benjamin & Ford, Ryan & Nowrasteh, Alex, 2008. "Somalia after state collapse: Chaos or improvement?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 657-670, September.
- Yoonok Chang & Stephan Haggard & Marcus Noland, 2008. "Migration Experiences of North Korean Refugees: Survey Evidence from China," Working Paper Series WP08-4, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
- Stephan Haggard & Marcus Noland, 2007. "North Korea's External Economic Relations," Working Paper Series WP07-7, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
- Stanley Fischer & Alan Gelb, 1991. "The Process of Socialist Economic Transformation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 91-105, Fall.
- Leeson, Peter T., 2007. "Better off stateless: Somalia before and after government collapse," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 689-710, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:73:y:2010:i:2:p:133-152. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.