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The Standard of Living in the Choson Dynasty Korea in the 17th to the 19th Centuries

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Authors
Park, KiJoo; Yang, Donghyu
Issue Date
2007
Publisher
Seoul Journal of Economics
Citation
Seoul Journal of Economics 20 (No. 3 2007): 297-332
Keywords
Standard of livingAcreage per capitaChoson (Korea)
Abstract
With the aid of official statistics published by the Kingdom’s
administration, and newly available indices of output, acreage,
wages, population, and the price level, constructed from various
other sources, this study establishes almost for the first time
the long-term trends in the standard of living in the late Chosoˇ n,
from the 17th to the 19th centuries. We then put the Korean
trends to a larger picture of East Asia, including China and
Japan. We investigate the tilled acreage per capita and the land
productivity which together determine the agricultural product
per capita, hence the per capita rural income. Alongside, we
examine the long-term trends in real wages of rural and urban
laborers. The comparative look at the three East Asian countries
showed that Korea had the lowest and deteriorating living
standards in the 17-19th centuries. This may be explained by
poor irrigation system, natural disasters caused by deforestation,
and the shortage of fertilizers.
ISSN
1225-0279
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/1384
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Institute of Economics Research (경제연구소)Seoul Journal of EconomicsSeoul Journal of Economics vol.20(3) (Fall 2006)
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