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Welfare State and Middle Class in Korea: Focusing on ‘the self-employed’

  • Journal of the Scandinavian Society of Korea
  • Abbr : JSSK
  • 2014, (15), pp.63-101
  • Publisher : The Scandinavian Society of Korea
  • Research Area : Social Science > Area Studies > North Europe(Scandinavian)

Do-Hyun Yoon 1

1꽃동네대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This paper attempts to explore alternatives to the low social security system, especially for the self-employed, focusing on their characteristics and problems in Korea. As a result of this review, I would like to argue as follows; First, if the best social policy is employment policy(and income creation through it), employment-extension is most important, but the relative high rate of self-employed compared with OECD countries and low mobility in the wage labor market are intrinsically related with low wages and low levels of social security in the wage labour market, which is dualized in regular and non-regular status. So, it is necessary and urgent to restrict large-scale restructuring and discrimination against non-regular workers in enterprises. Second, because the income of most self-employed workers depends on the income and expenditure of economically actives in first and secondary industry, it is also necessary to increase real wages and disposable income of wage earners. Third, strengthening the social safety net for the self-employed requires an approach by stages. In this sense, introducing EITC and expanding the coverage of the self-employed in social insurance systems by government will be important reforms in the short run, but to ensure stable life and social security for self-employed workers, citizenship-based, tax-based universal social services must be expanded in the long run.

Citation status

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