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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Repression And Punishment In North Korea: Survey Evidence Of Prison Camp Experiences, Marcus Noland Oct 2009

Repression And Punishment In North Korea: Survey Evidence Of Prison Camp Experiences, Marcus Noland

Marcus Noland

The penal system has played a central role in the North Korean government's response to the country's profound economic and social changes. Two refugee surveys--one conducted in China, one in South Korea--document its changing role. The regime disproportionately targets politically suspect groups, particularly those involved in market-oriented economic activities. Levels of violence and deprivation do not appear to differ substantially between the infamous political prison camps, penitentiaries for felons, and labor camps used to incarcerate individuals for misdemeanors, including economic crimes. Substantial numbers of those incarcerated report experiencing deprivation with respect to food as well as public executions ...


Exit Polls: Refugee Assessments Of North Korea's Transition, Marcus Noland, Stephan Haggard, Yoonok Chang Mar 2009

Exit Polls: Refugee Assessments Of North Korea's Transition, Marcus Noland, Stephan Haggard, Yoonok Chang

Marcus Noland

Results from a survey of more than 1300 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 ...


North Korea In 2008: Twilight Of The God?, Marcus Noland, Stephan Haggard Jan 2009

North Korea In 2008: Twilight Of The God?, Marcus Noland, Stephan Haggard

Marcus Noland

Following a decade-long experiment with engagement, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, inaugurated in February 2008, brought a more skeptical posture toward the North. The spring saw a recurrence of widespread food shortages in North Korea. Pyongyang initially moved to implement the roadmap for denuclearization, but wrangling over the timing of the country’s removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism and verification stalled negotiations until a partial breakthrough in October. These events were overshadowed in September by the first reports that Kim Jong-il had suffered a stroke. These reports cast uncertainty over all aspects of politics and policy ...


Famine In North Korea Redux?, Marcus Noland, Stephan Haggard Jan 2009

Famine In North Korea Redux?, Marcus Noland, Stephan Haggard

Marcus Noland

In the 1990s, 600,000 to 1 million North Koreans, or about 3–5 percent of the pre-crisis population perished in one of the worst famines of the 20th century. North Korea is once again poised on the brink of famine. Although the renewed provision of aid is likely to avert a disaster on the scale of the 1990s, hunger-related deaths are already occurring and a dynamic has been set in motion that will carry the crisis into the future. North Korea is a complex humanitarian emergency characterized by highly imperfect information. This paper triangulates quantity and price evidence with ...


Migration Experiences Of North Korean Refugees: Survey Evidence From China, Marcus Noland, Stephan Haggard, Yoonok Chang Jan 2009

Migration Experiences Of North Korean Refugees: Survey Evidence From China, Marcus Noland, Stephan Haggard, Yoonok Chang

Marcus Noland

Chronic food shortages, political repression, and poverty have driven tens of thousands of North Koreans into China. This paper reports results from a large-scale survey of this population. The survey provides insight not only into the material circumstances of the refugees but also into their psychological state and aspirations. One key finding is that many North Korean refugees suffer severe psychological stress akin to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This distress is caused in part by experiences in China. However, we demonstrate that it is also a result of the long shadow cast by the North Korean famine and abuses suffered ...


Korean Institutional Reform In Comparative Perspective, Marcus Noland, Erik Weeks Jan 2009

Korean Institutional Reform In Comparative Perspective, Marcus Noland, Erik Weeks

Marcus Noland

In recent years, academic economists have come to appreciate the centrality of public institutions in contributing to economic performance. Yet Korea, arguably the premier success story of the last half-century, has sometimes been described as a First World economy with Third World institutions. Although Korea modestly underachieves on most of the 52 institutional indicators examined in this paper, it is not an outlier, and on most indicators it is converging on global norms from below. The patterns on specific indicators suggest that global institutions play some role as an external policy anchor. The reason is straightforward: The existence of international ...


The (Non-) Impact Of Un Sanctions On North Korea, Marcus Noland Jan 2009

The (Non-) Impact Of Un Sanctions On North Korea, Marcus Noland

Marcus Noland

This study finds that North Korea’s nuclear test and the imposition of UN Security Council sanctions have had no perceptible effect on North Korea’s trade with its two largest partners, China and South Korea. Before North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test, it was widely believed that such an event would have cataclysmic diplomatic ramifications. However, beginning with visual inspection of data and ending with time-series models, no evidence is found to support the notion that these events have had any effect on North Korea’s trade with its two principal partners. In retrospect, North Korea may have ...