In the last 40 years, East Asian countries have undergone significant economic and political transformation, with deepening integration into the world economy and substantial progress toward democracy. I investigate the impact of these two major developments on income distribution in East Asia. This study extends prior research by (1) examining the role of both international economic and domestic political factors, topics that have mostly been studied separately; (2) employing inequality data that are more complete than those used in previous studies; and (3) using data for a period during which the pace of globalization greatly accelerated, a major relevant event (the Asian financial crisis) occurred, and several countries in the region witnessed a considerable expansion of democratic rights. Evidence for the claim that trade increases inequality is robust, but empirical support for the redistributive effects of both foreign direct investment and democracy is weak.
Economic Globalization, Democratization, and Income Inequality: Evidence from East Asia
Hayam Kim is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Changwon National University, South Korea. Her research interests include the democratic impact of trade and financial liberalization and the influence of economic globalization on income distribution.
Hayam Kim; Economic Globalization, Democratization, and Income Inequality: Evidence from East Asia. Asian Survey 1 August 2023; 63 (4): 663–689. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/as.2023.1987696
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