What do we know about poverty in North Korea?

Crespo Cuaresma, Jesus ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3244-6560 and Danylo, Olha and Fritz, Steffen and Hofer, Martin and Kharas, Homi and Laso Bayas, Juan Carlos (2020) What do we know about poverty in North Korea? Palgrave Communications, 6 (40). ISSN 2055-1045

Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

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Reliable quantitative information on the North Korean economy is extremely scarce. In particular, reliable income per capita and poverty figures for the country are not available. In this contribution, we provide for the first time estimates of absolute poverty rates in North Korean subnational regions based on the combination of innovative remote-sensednight-time light intensity data (monthly information for built areas) with estimated income distributions. Our results, which are robust to the use of different methods to approximatethe income distribution in the country, indicate that the share of persons living in extreme poverty in North Korea may be larger than previously thought. We estimate a poverty rate for the country of around 60% in 2018 and a high volatility in the dynamics of income at the national level in North Korea for the period 2012–2018. Income per capita estimates tend to decline significantly from 2012 to 2015 and present a recovery since 2016. The subnational estimates of income and poverty reveal a change in relative dynamics since the second half of the 2012–2018 period. The first part of the period is dominated by divergent dynamics inincome across regions, while the second half reveals convergence in regional income.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: ePub Administrator
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2020 10:15
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2020 10:19
Related URLs:
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/7531


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