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This is an archived version of the PW Sources newsletter from Saturday, March 18. Sign up to receive PW Sources directly to your inbox here.


The South Korean government recently announced that it would compensate Koreans who served as forced laborers for Japanese corporations under colonial rule. The reparation funds will be raised domestically; Japanese corporations will not contribute. 

In a 2016 chapter, DAVID PALMER examines how the Mitsubishi corporation used Korean forced laborers for war-time Japanese state projects. 

From the chapter:

“Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, a division of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, owned and operated the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Shipyards, along with a number of other shipyards in Japan. Mitsubishi used Japanese workers who were paid regular wages, had relative freedom of movement, but who were denied the right to have free trade unions; Korean workers conscripted under forcible conditions from villages in Korea and confined to company dormitories under armed guard; and at the Nagasaki yard Allied prisoners-of-war (POWs) used as slave labor and housed in separate POW camps. This dual waged/forced labor system characterized much of wartime industry in Japan, including infrastructure construction, coal mining, and dock work. This system was very much like the even more extreme labor regime used in Nazi Germany.”

+  “The Court’s rationale has shifted the restitution paradigm from disparate individual claims to collective redress.” A 2015 article by Steven Nam. Link

+  “Corporations thereby became ‘triple winners’ by directly benefiting from unpaid labor during the war and receiving public money for it afterward.” A 2006 article by William Underwood on reparation claims from Chinese forced laborers. Link

+  Seokwoo Lee and Youngkwan Cho on judicial activism around forced labor in Korea and Japan. Link.  


Female Labor Participation in Jordan 

ALMA BOUSTATI is a financial manager at Lloyds Banking Group. In a recent paper, she explores why female labor participation has remained consistently low in Jordan.

From the paper

“The purpose of this paper is to describe the history of female labour force participation in Jordan and to infer from it the different factors that may have affected its evolution. This exploration concludes that the combination of economic and institutional developments in Jordan repeatedly ‘sheltered’ women from the need to become wage earners, especially women who did not progress beyond secondary education. Whenever demand opportunities arose, women were unable to take advantage of them because of various economic policies that substituted them for other workers. More importantly, a government desire to maintain its end of a social contract that was rapidly becoming unfeasible resulted in a distorted labour market and we which relied on high male wage and non-wage wage income. This is all underpinned by patriarchal institutions and labour laws and regulations that motivated these economic policies, creating a cycle of reinforcement.”

+ + +

+  “Financial integration at the expense of autonomy in a speculative and crisis-ridden global market can be perilous.” New on PW, Lin Chun reviews wartime communist monetary policy in China. Link

+  A new study finds that cradle-to-grave emissions from food loss and waste represent half of total greenhouse gas emissions from food systems. Link

+  “Caste from Field to Factory: 100 years of accumulation, exploitation and caste oppression in rural Uttar Pradesh.” A lecture by Jens Lerche. Link

+  Skanda Amarnath at Employ America on “three dimensions of the Fed failure.” Link

+  “A devaluation and resulting inflation of any magnitude would puncture the aura of macroeconomic invincibility so central to the tenure of the MAS, and especially Arce.” Charles Dolph on the Banco Central de Bolivia. Link

+  Eliot Chen on Nvidia chips and an “AI lockout” for China. Link

+  “We find that East Asian economies have been important suppliers of technology goods for Russia.” By Heli Simola and Aino Röyskö. Link

+  “In addition to the soul revisions, many seigneurs ordered periodic enumerations of the serfs on their estates. The origin of the resulting household registers (podvornie opisi or vedomosti) has been traced to the eighteenth century and efforts of the Russian Free Economic Society to foster rational estate management. Treatises, which included detailed sample tables and graphs, urged the registration of serfs and their material resources as the first step toward improving seigneurial economies. Naturally, the detail and the quality of such registers vary enormously from landowner to landowner. In addition to duplicating information contained in the soul revisions, the household registers of Mishino provided information about the peasants’ horses, cattle and pigs, grain reserves, labour dues and arrears, crafts and trades, the condition of dwellings and outbuildings, physical handicaps and deportment.” By Peter Czap Jr. Link

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