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The wild ride of 2020 continued this week with the news that the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un was in a critical condition and that his continued leadership of the nation was not necessarily guaranteed.

This has, of course, generated all manner of speculation given how secretive the hermit kingdom is at the best of times but even more so now as its future really is up in the air.

So, with that, there are a few key issues we must explore here. What will the potential economic outcomes of leadership change be why is it that a dictatorship inherently makes for a poor economy? What the potential outcomes will be for North Korea will be in the future. How countries have dealt with this type of situation in the past. And perhaps initially what is it that would stand in the way of a country like North Korea embracing a modern economic system, what keeps them poor.


📚 Want to learn more about North Korea? We recommend reading “Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea”, by Barbara Demick
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Sources & Citations –

Lam, R., and Wantchekon, L., 1999. Dictatorships as a political Dutch Disease

Farrant, A., McPhail, E., and Berger, S., 2012. Preventing the “Abuses” of Democracy: Hayek, the “Military Usurper” and Transitional Dictatorship in Chile?. American Journal of Economics and Sociology.

Wintrobe, R., 2000. The political economy of dictatorship. Cambridge University Press.

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