Working Paper North Korean Living Standards in Comparative Perspective: Evidence from Household Wealth Data 2022.02.28
This paper uses household wealth data and the International Wealth Index (IWI) methodology to measure the living standards of North Korea in comparative perspective. The country’s wealth index in 2017 is estimated to be far higher than those of most low income countries and not much different from the mid-level of lower-middle income countries. North Korea’s regional inequality seems also to be in line with what is common in lower-middle countries. This paper’s estimation suggests that the popular perception that the country is one of the world’s poorest lacks sufficient evidence.
II. Wealth Index: Data and Method
III. North Korea’s Household Wealth Data
IV. North Korea’s Wealth Index Estimates and Global Comparison
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