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Digital revolution and welfare state reforms: Revisiting social investment and social protection

  • Korea Social Policy Review
  • Abbr : KSPR
  • 2018, 25(1), pp.3-43
  • DOI : 10.17000/kspr.25.1.201803.3
  • Publisher : Korean Association of Social Policy
  • Research Area : Social Science > Sociology > Medical / Welfare / Social policy
  • Published : March 31, 2018

Young Jun Choi 1 Jung Eun Choi 1 Jung Min Ryu 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The digital revolution has brought about both positive expectations and negative concerns. Many experts predict that the current technological revolution, so-called "Fourth Industrial Revolution", which is expected to increase productivity in a disruptive way, has significant implications on employment and the labor market. In subsequence, the possible demise of the traditional employment system could markedly undermine the comtemporary welfare state. As a result, basic income has emerged as an alternative. However, little welfare state research has conducted the systematic review on the impact of the present technological revolution on employment and welfare states. In this paper, we will start to review the gist of the digital revolution and critically review recent studies on its effects on employment and welfare states together with actual case studies. In particular, we will investigate the experiences of platform economies of Uber and Amazon Mechanical Turk, and the German experience from 'Work 4.0'. Finally, we will discuss key issues of future welfare state reforms. This research argues that the effects of the technological revolution on employment and welfare state policies would be enormous, but they will be most likely to be mediated by domestic political and policy institutions. It emphasizes the importance of high-quality social investment that would enable individuals to flexibly adapt technological changes and support creative human capital resource. But, high-quality social investment could not be sustained without the decent social protection system that universally provides security to people.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.