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The Political Economy of Preindustrial Korean Trade

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  • Hun-Chang Lee
  • Peter Temin

Abstract

Preindustrial Korea had little foreign trade in spite of the advantage of being a small peninsular country. We present a theory of political economy to show that the preindustrial Korean policy of suppressing private trade, like that of China, only can be explained by noneconomic factors such as the consideration of externalities and rulers' incentives, bounded rationality of policymakers, and the path dependence of history. It was a rational or bounded-rational decision to increase total gains, that is, economic and noneconomic gains, from trade under the east Asian geopolitics.

Suggested Citation

  • Hun-Chang Lee & Peter Temin, 2010. "The Political Economy of Preindustrial Korean Trade," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 166(3), pages 548-571, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201009)166:3_548:tpeopk_2.0.tx_2-y
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    Cited by:

    1. Baten, Jörg & Sohn, Kitae, 2014. "Impoverished, but Numerate? Early Numeracy in East Asia (1550–1800) and its Impact on 20th and 21st Century Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 9991, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Hun-Chang Lee, 2007. "The Political Economy of Pre-industrial Trade in Northeast Asia," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d07-219, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N75 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Asia including Middle East
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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