The North Korean standard of living during the famine
For decades, North Korea has been one of the world's most secluded societies. Due to a lack of reliable statistics, little analytical research has been done on the well-being of those who suffer most under totalitarianism: the North Korean people. By considering height data as a sensitive indicator of the North Korean standard of living, we explain what has historically influenced the welfare of children in different regions. Using cross-sectional data from 1997 when the peak of the infamous famine coincided with extreme environmental influences, we primarily test a number of socioeconomic hypotheses that have been proposed in the literature. Of these, the public distribution system and local harvest conditions--which may reflect black and gray market activity--were found as having a positive and statistically significant effect on height outcomes. Furthermore, from a biological point of view, males and older birth cohorts seem to have suffered more during the famine of the 1990s.
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Volume (Year): 66 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (February)
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Baten, Jorg & Wagner, Andrea, 2003.
"Autarchy, market disintegration, and health: the mortality and nutritional crisis in Nazi Germany, 1933-1937,"
Economics & Human Biology,
Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 1-28, January.
- JÃ¶rg Baten & Andrea Wagner, 2002. "Autarchy, Market Disintegration, and Health: The Mortality and Nutritional Crisis in Nazi Germany, 1933-1937," CESifo Working Paper Series 800, CESifo Group Munich.
- Marcus Noland, 2004. "Famine and Reform in North Korea," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 3(2), pages 1-40.
- Daniel Goodkind & Loraine West, 2001. "The North Korean Famine and Its Demographic Impact," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(2), pages 219-238.
- Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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