Korean Development and Migration

Josh DeWind, Eun Mee Kim, Ronald Skeldon, In Jin Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Our introductory paper to this special issue of JEMS on Korean development and migration provides a sketch of internal migration in Korea, and international migration from and to that country. It positions these movements within the great transitions experienced by Korea over recent decades: the transition from an agricultural to an industrial and then a tertiary economy; the transition from a rural to an urban society; and the transition to low fertility and mortality. A transition in migration can also be observed from rural to urban and from emigration to immigration. The papers in this issue each illustrate a different facet of Korea's migration-the importance of internal remittances in the process of urbanisation, the range of destinations in Korea's diaspora, the different enclave economies and societies around the Pacific rim, ethnic ties and the incorporation of Koreans into the economies of destination areas, the importance of transnational families and whether Korea will ever become a 'settler' society are all examined as part of Korea's local and global migrations. They all demonstrate, in different ways, how Korea's development into a member of the global economy has interacted with migration to change its volume, direction and composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-388
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Three of these articles, by Erik Mobrand, by James Spencer et al. and by John Finch and Seung-Kyung Kim, are based on research supported in 2006⨯07 by the Korean Migration and Development Fellowship Program of the Social Science Research Council, which was funded by the Korea Research Foundation.


  • Development
  • Internal Migration
  • International Migration
  • Korea
  • Transitions
  • Urbanisation


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