Can Economic Theory Demystify North Korea?
Korea Review of International Studies, 9/1, Seoul: Global Research Institute, Korea University, 2006, pp. 3-26
24 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2016
Date Written: 2006
The starting point of this paper is the assumption that North Korea is de facto a well defined nation-state with a national economy and inhabited by individuals that bear the same basic economic and social characteristics as individuals elsewhere. Despite the obvious specifics of the economic system and the institutional structure of that country, standard economic theory should be applicable to the question of North Korean economic development. The article seeks to prove this as broadly as possible, showing that concepts as diverse as classical and neoclassical, Marxist, Keynesian, institutional, developmentalist, neo-liberal or structuralist perspectives, dependency analysis and many others including regionally centered approaches can be utilized to explain the North Korean case with acceptable results. To understand the development process in North Korea properly, we do not need any new, specific theory, model or framework. Without arguing against or in favor of one of the available theoretical methods, this article in-tends to provoke further research on North Korea as another case of development in East Asia, rather than a mystical exception to the rule.
Keywords: Korean Studies, East Asian Studies, Korea (North and/or South), North Korea (politics and society), East Asian Economy, North Korean Economy
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