Does National Identity Collide with Economic Interest? Public Support for Northeast Asian Economic Integration in South Korea
28 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2010 Last revised: 20 Apr 2010
What are the determinants of individual preferences for regional economic integration? This paper explores how national identity and economic interest are intertwined in forming preferences for regional economic integration. We argue that national identity tends to reinforce support for regional economic integration. However, national identity influences the unskilled more than the skilled, leading to the seemingly irrational formation of preferences among unskilled labor, even when those preferences are against their economic interest. Strong national identity often prompts unskilled labor to support regional economic integration when it may result in more costs than benefits for them. We empirically test these arguments using the Korean sample from the 2006 Chicago Council on Global Affairs-East Asia Institute public opinion survey on international relations. Our statistical analysis finds supporting evidence for our arguments about the relationship between national identity, economic interest, and preferences for regional economic integration.
Keywords: Public Opinion, National Identity, Economic interest, South Korea, Northeast Asian Economic Integration
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