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Exit Polls: Refugee Assessments of North Korea's Transition

Author

Listed:
  • Yoonok Chang

    () (Hansei University, Foreign Language Education Center, Department of Graduate Education)

  • Stephan Haggard

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

  • Marcus Noland

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

Abstract

Results from a survey of more than 1,300 North Korean refugees in China provide insight into changing economic conditions in North Korea. There is modest evidence of slightly more positive assessments among those who exited the country following the initiation of reforms in 2002. Education breeds skepticism; higher levels of education were associated with more negative perceptions of economic conditions and reform efforts. Other demographic markers such as gender or provincial origin are not robustly correlated with attitudes. Instead, personal experiences appear to be central: A significant number of the respondents were unaware of the humanitarian aid program and the ones who knew of it almost universally did not believe that they were beneficiaries. This group's evaluation of the regime, its intentions, and accomplishments is overwhelmingly negative--even more so than those of respondents who report having had experienced incarceration in political detention facilities--and attests to the powerful role that the famine experience continues to play in the political economy of the country.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp08-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marcus Noland, 2004. "Famine and Reform in North Korea," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 3(2), pages 1-40.
    2. 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.
    3. Haggard, Stephan & Noland, Marcus, 2009. "Famine in North Korea Redux?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 384-395, September.
    4. Noland, Marcus & Robinson, Sherman & Wang, Tao, 2001. "Famine in North Korea: Causes and Cures," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(4), pages 741-767, July.
    5. Marcus Noland, 2000. "Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 94.
    6. Stephan Haggard & Marcus Noland, 2007. "North Korea's External Economic Relations," Working Paper Series WP07-7, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    7. Marcus Noland, 2004. "Korea after Kim Jong-il," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa71, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Katzeff Silberstein, Benjamin, 2010. "North Korea: Fading Totalitarianism in the "Hermit Kingdom"," Working Paper Series 836, Research Institute of Industrial 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. Haggard, Stephan & Noland, Marcus, 2013. "Gender in Transition: The Case of North Korea," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 51-66.
    4. Noland, Marcus & Haggard, Stephan, 2010. "Political attitudes under repression: evidence from North Korean refugees," MPRA Paper 21713, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Noland, Marcus & Haggard, Stephan, 2009. "Repression and punishment in North Korea: survey evidence of prison camp experiences," MPRA Paper 17705, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    North Korea; transition; reform; refugees; famine; aid;

    JEL classification:

    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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