The political economy of preindustrial Korean trade

Hun Chang Lee, Peter Temin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Preindustrial Korea had little foreign trade in spite of the advantage of being a small peninsular country. We present a theory of political economy to show that the preindustrial Korean policy of suppressing private trade, like that of China, only can be explained by noneconomic factors such as the consideration of externalities and rulers' incentives, bounded rationality of policymakers, and the path dependence of history. It was a rational or bounded-rational decision to increase total gains, that is, economic and noneconomic gains, from trade under the east Asian geopolitics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-571
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Sept

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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