APARC - Korea Publications

Covers of Korea Program books on the backdrop of Encina Hall colonnade, Stanford

Publications

Rigorous analysis of political, economic, social, and foreign policy concerns in the Koreas and U.S.-Korean relations for the academic community, foreign policy experts, and the interested public.

Korea Program faculty and fellows regularly author books, book chapters, working papers, and policy recommendations, and we share the outcomes of our research projects and the proceedings of our conferences, workshops, and policy outreach activities in policy briefs and edited volumes. These are issued through the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center’s publishing program and distributed by Stanford University Press and the Brookings Institution. Our scholars also publish extensively in peer-reviewed academic journals and in scholarly and trade presses. Browse our publications below.

 

Publication Spotlight

In his new book, 'Being in North Korea,' our former Koret Fellow in Korean Studies Andray Abrahamian explores the question "What is it like there?" in an honest and oftentimes amusing way, drawing on his extensive in-country experience.

Publications

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Book

Andray Abrahamian
2020

**See our dedicated book page for more information about the book, including praise, reviews, and author commentary.**

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Journal Article

Gi-Wook Shin
The Journal of Democracy, 2020

South Korea (hereafter Korea) is following global trends as it slides toward a “democratic depression.” Both the spirit of democracy and actual liberal-democratic standards are under attack. The symptoms of democratic decline are increasingly hard to miss, and they are appearing in many corners of Korean society, the hallmarks of zero-sum politics in which opponents are demonized, democratic norms are eroded, and political life grows ever more polarized.

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Journal Article

Gi-Wook Shin, Rennie Moon
Asian Survey, 2019

Korea’s migrants have diversified in recent decades. A special section of the journal Asian Survey gathers articles that address this development by examining issues of class as an analytical lens in addition to ethnicity and citizenship, and also by considering the contributions of migrants from both human and social capital perspectives. By doing so, the authors aim to provide a better understanding of the varied experiences, realities, and complexities of Korea’s increasingly diverse migrant groups.

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Journal Article

Gi-Wook Shin, Joon Nak Choi, Rennie Moon
Asian Survey, 2019
South Korea faces a shortage of highly skilled labor, but with a low tolerance for diversity, it lags behind in its global competitiveness to retain mobile skilled talent.
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Journal Article

Gi-Wook Shin, Rennie Moon
The Journal of Asian Studies, 2019

The year 2019 is the centennial of several anti-colonialist movements that emerged in Asia, including the March First Movement of Korea, the first nationwide political protest in Korea under Japanese colonial rule. Although the movement failed to achieve national sovereignty, it left important legacies for Korea and other parts of Asia under foreign dominance.

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Journal Article

Gi-Wook Shin, Rennie Moon
Comparative Education, 2019

This paper examines how social isolation in a non-Anglophone context where English is not the main language of instruction for local students but is for international students, has unintended consequences for social capital formation among the latter. What factors influence international student network formation in such places where linguistic barriers are institutionalised and what are their consequences not only during college but beyond, in shaping students’ career plans?

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Journal Article

Gi-Wook Shin, Rennie Moon
Asian Survey, 2019
Kim Jong-un showcased a series of summit meetings throughout 2018, including the first-ever meeting of a North Korean leader with a sitting US president. North Korea improved its strained relations with China and South Korea. The country’s denuclearization has yet to be seen, but these events sparked considerable debate about the future.
 
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Journal Article

Yong Suk Lee
Labor Economics, 2018

This paper examines the relationship between modern management practices and the demand for different occupational skills utilizing a unique context in South Korea after the Asian financial crisis. Management practices in South Korea had traditionally emphasized the organizational harmony over individual performance, and firm growth over short-term profits. However, as South Korea opened up to foreign firms after the financial crisis, domestic firms started to adopt western or more "modern" management practices.

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Journal Article

Yong Suk Lee, Yuya Sasaki
Information Economics and Policy, 2018

Information technology is increasingly being utilized in the property market. This paper examines how sensitive house transaction prices are to online price estimates using data collected from Zillow. We find that online property price estimates strongly predict transaction prices even when observable and unobservable house and neighborhood characteristics are controlled for. In addition, we find evidence that suggests that online price estimates may have a direct impact on transaction prices.

 

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Book

Joon Nak Choi, Yong Suk Lee, Gi-Wook Shin
2018

Export-oriented industrialization has transformed the Korean economy so profoundly that it has become known as the "Miracle on the Han." Yet, this industrial model has become fragile, as Korea’s chaebols are being challenged by Chinese competitors. Attempts to seek out new engines of economic growth have failed, or remain underdeveloped, while a looming demographic crisis threatens to exacerbate Korea’s problems.

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Journal Article

Yong Suk Lee, Chuck Eesley
2018

Ethnicity and immigration status may play a role in entrepreneurship and innovation, yet the impact of university entrepreneurship education on this relationship is under-explored. This paper examines the persistence and differences in entrepreneurship by ethnicity and nationality. We find that among Stanford alumni, Asian Americans have a higher rate of entrepreneurship than white Americans. However, non-American Asians have a substantially lower, about 12% points lower, start-up rate than Asian Americans.

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Journal Article

Yong Suk Lee, Yong Suk Lee
2018

This paper examines how the spatial distribution of economic activity evolved within North Korea during a period of economic sanctions. Countries have used economic sanctions to isolate North Korea from the benefits of international trade and finance. China, however, has not imposed the sanctions, and consequentially has offset the trade restrictions imposed by other countries.

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Journal Article

Yong Suk Lee, Yong Suk Lee
2018

This paper examines the impact of government guaranteed small business loans on regional growth. I construct a metro-level panel of the Small Business Administration's guaranteed loans and examine economic growth between 1993 and 2002, across 316 metro areas in the US. A simple OLS regression finds a significant positive relationship between small business loans and regional growth. However, first-difference and instrumental variable regressions that mitigate endogeneity find no significant employment or income growth effects from small business loans.

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Working Paper

Gi-Wook Shin, Rennie Moon
2018

The development community has increased its focus on higher education over the past two decades, recognizing that education can contribute to building up a country’s capacity for participation in an increasingly knowledge-based world economy and accelerate economic growth. The value added by higher education to economies—job creation, innovation, enhanced entrepreneurship, and research, a core higher education activity—has been highlighted by an important body of literature. 

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Book

Jong Seok Lee,
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, distributed by Brookings Institution Press, 2018

Peace on a Knife’s Edge is the translation of Lee Jong-Seok's 2014 memoir of South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun's efforts to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula in the face of opposition at home from conservative forces and abroad from the Bush administration’s hard stances of “tailored containment” and its declaration of the North as part of the “axis of evil.”

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Policy Brief

2017

The seventeenth session of the Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum held on June 29, 2017 in Seoul convened senior South Korean and American policymakers, scholars and regional experts to discuss North Korea policy and recent developments on the Korean Peninsula. Hosted by the Sejong Institute in association with the Shorenstein APARC, the forum continued its focus on Northeast Asian regional dynamics, the North Korea problem, and the state of the U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance. The participants engaged in candid, productive discussion about issues relating to these topics.

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Book

Gi-Wook Shin, Gi-Wook Shin
2017

In this book, Gi-Wook Shin shares his observations on and provides recommendations for social maladies currently affecting Korean society.

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Commentary

Daniel C. Sneider
Dun Jiao Du, 2017

President Donald Trump's ominous threat to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea succeeded at least in garnering the attention of not only Kim Jong Un but the globe. The vague assertion of readiness to carry out a preventive attack on North Korea, even to use nuclear weapons, roiled stock markets, sent Japanese to look for bomb shelters and prompted alarmed warnings against the use of force from both foes and allies, including South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The piece is available in Chinese, English and Japanese.

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Commentary

Daniel C. Sneider
Tokyo Business Today, 2017

The most dangerous impact of North Korea’s long-range missile test this past week may not have been the one in the Sea of Japan, felt in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo. It was in Moscow where Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin locked arms in a united front on how to respond to the growing North Korea crisis. The target of this front was not, however, North Korea. It was the United States, who the Sino-Russian axis accused of pursuing a military “buildup” in the region.

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Commentary

Daniel C. Sneider
Toyo Keizai Online (Tokyo Business Today), 2017

In the days leading up to the Washington summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump, the tension in Seoul was hard to escape. Fears of an open clash between the two leaders, of a handshake that went on too long, or of a hostile early morning tweet directed at Moon were widespread. But when a senior national security advisor to Moon met a group of American visitors after the first day of talks, he was visibly relieved. The dinner between Moon and U.S.

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Policy Brief

Thomas Fingar, Kwang-Jin Kim, Hyung-Seog Lee, Yong Suk Lee
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and Institute for National Security Strategy, 2017

As Kim Jong-un begins his sixth year as leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), it is appropriate to shift the focus from his moves to consolidate power to the impact that the organizational and staffing changes made under his leadership have had on the operations and efficacy of the system he leads. Toward that end, Stanford’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and the Republic of Korea’s Institute for National Security Strategy (INSS) have prepared a joint paper utilizing the complementary resources of both institutions.

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Commentary

Daniel C. Sneider
The National Bureau of Asian Research, 2017

President-elect Moon has gained office riding a wave of demand for social justice and a reform of democratic governance in South Korea. These are the issues that are certain to consume his attention and that of voters. U.S. policymakers need to be mindful that the domestic factors that led to this shift in power in South Korea will remain paramount. That said, the return to power of South Korea’s progressives augurs a significant shift in several areas of policy that will have a clear impact on alliance relations with the United States.

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Journal Article

Yong Suk Lee
Journal of Economic Geography, 2017

Does entrepreneurship cause local employment and wage growth, and if so, how large is the impact? Empirical analysis of such a question is difficult because of the joint determination of entrepreneurship and economic growth. This article uses two different sets of variables—the homestead exemption levels in state bankruptcy laws from 1975 and the share of metropolitan statistical area (MSA) overlaying aquifers—to instrument for entrepreneurship and examine urban employment and wage growth between 1993 and 2002.

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Journal Article

Gi-Wook Shin, Rennie Moon
Asian Survey, 2017

South Korean President Park Geun-hye faced a leadership crisis after revelations that she relied on a confidant with no official position for key decision-making in state affairs. Heavy industry met with serious financial difficulties, and a strong anti-corruption law was enacted. North Korea tested more nuclear weapons and missiles. Controversy over the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense strained South Korea’s relations with China.

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Policy Brief

Gi-Wook Shin, Michael H. Armacost, Takeo Hoshi, Karl Eikenberry, Thomas Fingar, Kathleen Stephens, Daniel C. Sneider, Donald K. Emmerson
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, 2017

Scholars at Stanford's Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies assess the strategic situation in East Asia to be unsettled, unstable, and drifting in ways unfavorable for American interests. These developments are worrisome to countries in the region, most of which want the United States to reduce uncertainty about American intentions by taking early and effective steps to clarify and solidify U.S. engagement. In the absence of such steps, they will seek to reduce uncertainty and protect their own interests in ways that reduce U.S.

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