Nadav Ben Zeev, Evi Pappa, 06 September 2017

Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship has grabbed the attention of the whole world with its nuclear brinkmanship – and global markets have responded with a flight to safe-haven assets. This column reports research showing that such an escalation in international tensions can also have real effects for the US economy in the short to medium run. According to the authors’ analysis of the macroeconomic effects of anticipated increases in defence spending, North Korea’s insistent and rapid test-firing of missiles could boost the US economy.

Yong-Suk Lee, 06 November 2014

How does an autocratic regime domestically counter the impact of economic sanctions? This column studies the impact of sanctions on North Korea using satellite night-time lights data and finds that the burden of sanctions falls on the vulnerable population and not the elites in power towards whom the sanctions are aimed. Sanctions that fail to change the leader’s behaviour likely increase inequality at a cost to the already marginalised hinterlands.

Peter van Bergeijk, 27 March 2012

Can international economic pressure induce policy changes? The conventional wisdom, among economists at least, is that economic sanctions, for all their posturing, won’t achieve very much. For better or worse, this column shows that this is now changing.

Ho Il Moon, 13 December 2011

Little is known about North Korea’s economy as official statistics are scant. But North Korea cannot be ignored, especially when it comes to the size of its army. This column suggests that the true number is hidden between the lines of the census. It provides an estimate based on missing population, that is, the difference between the whole population and the number of registered citizens.

Bob Carbaugh, 23 February 2009

The Obama administration is simultaneously imposing economic sanctions on Iran and North Korea and suggesting that it would like to take a more conciliatory approach. This column says that economic sanctions rarely work in altering the behaviour of a target country, especially as a stand-alone tool of foreign policy. That suggests that the new US president is right to use both carrots and sticks.

Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland, Erik Weeks, 07 June 2008

North Korea may be on the brink of famine. This column explains the crisis.

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