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Gender in Transition: The Case of North Korea


  • Haggard, Stephan
  • Noland, Marcus


This paper uses survey data to examine the experience of women in North Korea’s economic transition. Women have been shed from state-affiliated employment and thrust into a market environment characterized by weak institutions and corruption. More than one-third of men indicate that criminality and corruption is the best way to make money, and 95% of female traders report paying bribes. The increasingly male-dominated state preys on the increasingly female-dominated market. Energies are directed toward survival and this population appears to lack the tools to act collectively to improve their status.

Suggested Citation

  • Haggard, Stephan & Noland, Marcus, 2013. "Gender in Transition: The Case of North Korea," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 51-66.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:41:y:2013:i:c:p:51-66
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.06.012

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Marcus Noland, 2000. "Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 94.
    4. Haggard, Stephan & Lee, Jennifer & Noland, Marcus, 2012. "Integration in the absence of institutions: China–North Korea cross-border exchange," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 130-145.
    5. Noland, Marcus & Haggard, Stephan, 2010. "Political attitudes under repression: evidence from North Korean refugees," MPRA Paper 21713, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Stephan Haggard & Marcus Noland, 2010. "Economic Crime and Punishment in North Korea," Working Paper Series WP10-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    7. 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.
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    More about this item


    gender; transition; refugees; North Korea;

    JEL classification:

    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration


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