Seeds of Reform: Lessons from Vietnam about Informality and Institutional Change

Ordinary North Korean citizens have been coping with economic hardship by eking out livelihoods for themselves. Grassroots markets and local petty economies have become commonplace. A point of conjecture amongst scholars and policymakers is whether these developments may be the start of significant economic system change towards a market economy. This article reviews lessons learned from the transition economies about the informal and social processes required to effectively realize major economic transition in order to discuss the preliminary evidence we have about North Korea‚Äôs current informal civilian economic activity. Applying a social cognition theory of institutional change focuses our attention to the discretionary behavior of local government, the social structure and networks that form firms and exemplars, and social trust to move to new economic paradigms. It also discusses what the operations of hwa-gyo entrepreneurs, ethnic Chinese living in North Korea, pose to the existing state of the literature.

 

abstract

Title Seeds of Reform: Lessons from Vietnam about Informality and Institutional Change
Authors Annette M. Kim
Type of Publication
Journal Paper
Journal
International Economic Journal
Volume
26
Issue
3: 391-406
Date of Publication
Sep 1, 2012
Publisher
International Economic Journal

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