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Unveiling the North Korean Economy
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  • Cited by 3
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    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Dadgar, Yadollah and Nazari, Rouhollah 2018. Institutionalist Perspectives on Development. p. 89.

    Jung, Seung-Ho and Kim, Byung-Yeon 2018. Trade Between North Korea and China: Firm-Level Analysis. Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Vol. 54, Issue. 7, p. 1475.

    Fukao, Kyoji Inui, Tomohiko and Kwon, Hyeog Ug 2017. The Economic Impact of Korean Reunification on Major Trade Partners: An Empirical Analysis Based on the World Input–Output Tables. Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Vol. 53, Issue. 11, p. 2476.


Book description

North Korea is one of the most closed and secretive societies in the world. Despite a high level of interest from the outside world, we have very little detailed information about how the country functions economically. In this valuable book for both the academic and policy-making circles, Byung-Yeon Kim offers the most comprehensive and systematic analysis of the present day North Korean economy in the context of economic systems and transition economics. It addresses what is really happening in the North Korean economy, why it has previously failed, and how the country can make the transition to a market economy. It takes advantage not only of carefully reconstructed macro data but also rich, new data at the micro level, such as quantitative surveys of North Korean refugees settled in South Korea, and the surveys of Chinese companies that interact heavily with North Korea.


‘Byung-Yeon Kim’s book on the North Korean economy is one-of-a-kind. It not only synthesises the surprisingly large amount of information we have on the fast-changing North Korean economy, but also provides a coherent framework for understanding what is happening there now. Not simply a work of economics, this is political economy in the best sense, particularly in its discussion of marketisation from below, possible transition paths for North Korea and the ever-present possibility of breakdown.’

Stephan Haggard - Krause Distinguished Professor, University of California, San Diego

‘This is the most important book in the last half century, which comprehensively removes veils of the North Korean economy. Byung-Yeon Kim takes the reader on a joyful tour of solving major mysteries of the economy, based on a rigorous treatment of both macro- and micro-evidence.’

Masaaki Kuboniwa - Founding Research Director of the Russian Research Center, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo

‘This brilliant book is a must-read for anyone interested in this mysterious regime.’

Lanxin Xiang Source: Survival

'Totaling just over three hundred pages in length, the scope of this investigation is impressive. Readers with only a passing familiarity with the history of the North Korean economy, or entirely unfamiliar with it, will find much of value in this account. It provides a succinct overview of the basic elements of North Korea’s socialist economy and its collapse in the 1990s (and the accompanying famine), as well as a readable overview of the transition, de-centralization, and marketization of the economy and the political implications these changes have for regime stability and the country’s political future.'

Steven Denney Source: Journal of American-East Asian Relations

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Kim, Byung-Yeon, and Song, Dongho (2008), The Participation of North Korean Households in the Informal Economy: Size, Determinants and Effect. Seoul Journal of Economics 21(2): 361385.
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