In March 2009, the DPRK Economic Forum, a program of the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS, released the “DPRK Economic Statistics Project Report,” written by Mika Marumoto. 

Analysts and policymakers are understandably concerned about the availability and reliability of North Korean economic and social statistics data, and face serious challenges to the validity of their analysis, arguments and policymaking. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Economic Statistics Project (April – December 2008) was organized to directly address issues surrounding DPRK statistics. Dr. Mika Marumoto conducted an overall assessment of available databases and identified the most salient DPRK economic and social statistics available in the public domain. She also carried out case studies on different categories of North Korean data such as population data, gross domestic product estimates and trade data, in order to help data users make more sound judgments in their use and interpretation of available DPRK statistics. 

Initiated by the DPRK Economic Forum, a program at the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS, the statistics project was funded by the Korea Development Institute School of Public Policy (KDIS) and administered by the U.S.-Korea Institute. Views expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect those of KDIS or the U.S.-Korea Institute, and any errors and omissions are solely the author’s own. Permissions for citations and/or questions should be sent directly to Dr. Mika Marumoto at marumotomika@hotmail.com

Mika Marumoto, Ph.D., a development consultant and a former Harvard-Yenching Fellow, is currently managing a joint research project evaluating statistical data on North Korea, drawing on the expertise of a range of practitioners in the United States, South Korea, China and Japan. She holds a Ph.D. in international relations and MAs in economics and public administration. Recent publications include “North Korea and the China Model” (On Korea, Korea Economic Institute 2008). She has also been engaged in translation projects covering topics including individual accounts of World War II experiences and post-war reconciliation. Most recently, Dr. Marumoto co-translated the book, Famine in North Korea (Haggard and Noland 2007) into Japanese (Kita Chosen: Kiga no Seijikeizaigaku, Chuokoron-Shinsha 2009).


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DPRK Statistics Project: Full Report (March 2009, 99 pgs)

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Recommended citation: Mika Marumoto, Project Report: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Economic Statistics Project (April-December 2008), Presented to Korea Development Institute School of Public Policy and Management and the DPRK Economic Forum, U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University-School of Advanced International Studies. March 2009.