Author Archives: León-Manríquez José Luis

Similar Policies, Different Outcomes: Two Decades of Economic Reforms in North Korea and Cuba

An interesting comparison of Cuba and North Korea has just been published by Dr. José Luis León-Manríquez, a professor of international studies at the Department of Politics and Culture of the Metropolitan Autonomous University-Xochimilco, in Mexico City. It is available here:

Similar Policies, Different Outcomes, Two Decades of Economic Reforms in North Korea and Cuba

Introduction: “This article is aimed at analyzing, in a comparative perspective, the economic reforms undertaken by Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea) and Cuba since the demise of the Soviet bloc in the late 1980s and the early 1990s.1 The comparison seems pertinent inasmuch as both the DPRK and Cuba are relatively small countries that managed to survive the collapse of real socialism. Although the geographic areas of both countries are roughly the same, the North Korean population is more than double Cuba’s; by contrast, the Cuban GDP per capita is four times bigger than the DPRK’s individual income (Figure 1). Both countries have been ruled by single parties and have undertaken successful dynastic successions, and both countries have tried to maintain, with increasing tribulations, economic systems that advocate central planning and state property.”

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