Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Korea’s Saemaul Undong Revisited as Rural Development Game for Poverty Eradication: A New Development Economics Perspective (Article)

Author: Sung-Hee Jwa

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics for Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) has sparked the popularity of an experimental approach to poverty alleviation. This paper delves into this theme by revisiting the highly successful case of Korea’s Saemaul Undong (New Village Movement) during the 1970s, which served as a precursor to such experimental approaches in economic development. It presents a comprehensive model of rural development aimed at poverty eradication, emphasizing the vital role of three key entities: the villagers, village organizations, and government, all operating under the principles of economic discrimination outlined in the new general theory of economic development. As a framework for rural development, this trinity model offers potential enhancements to existing market-oriented and villager-centered rural development approaches, as well as to the RCT model.


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