In this talk, Jean Hong discusses how micro-level data from South Korea’s New Village Movement, a 1970s rural development program implemented under dictator Park Chung-hee to show how dictators can create long-lasting legacies. Townships receiving large cash transfers not only cast more votes for Park’s incumbent party at the time, but were more likely to vote for Park Geun Hye in 2012. In this new paper, Hong and her co-authors show that these effects were not driven by villagers’ long-term income gains or enhanced social capital due to the development program, but instead by the unwavering support of the beneficiary villagers for the dictator, whose legacy remained strong long after democratization.
Professor Ji Yeon (Jean) Hong is an Associate Professor and the Director of Quantitative Social Analysis at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). She obtained the Ph.D. degree in the Department of Politics at New York University. Her research interest centers on the political economy of authoritarian regimes, with particular attention to Korea, China, and Taiwan. Her articles have been published in British Journal of Political Science, Journal of East Asian Studies, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Politics, and Political Science Research and Methods among others.