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.
In 'South Korea's Democracy in Crisis,' leading experts analyze the threats to Korean democracy and examine their implications for Korean society and politics.
Yong Suk Lee and Charles Eesley examine how university entrepreneurship programs affect entrepreneurial activity using a unique entrepreneurship‐focused survey of Stanford alumni. OLS regressions find a positive relationship between program participation and entrepreneurship activities. However, endogeneity hinders causal interpretation. They utilize the fact that the entrepreneurship programs were implemented at the school level.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.