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The Growth of the Korean Welfare State and its implications for redistribution: Who has been excluded?

  • Korea Social Policy Review
  • Abbr : KSPR
  • 2018, 25(4), pp.3-38
  • DOI : 10.17000/kspr.25.4.201812.3
  • Publisher : Korean Association of Social Policy
  • Research Area : Social Science > Sociology > Medical / Welfare / Social policy
  • Published : December 31, 2018

Nahm, Jaewook 1

1한국직업능력개발원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims to analyse the redistributive impact of the welfare state growth in Korea after 2000s and establish whether there are people excluded from the benefits of the growth. The growth of the Korean welfare state has been achieved by universalizing welfare benefits under the social insurance-centered institutions which are the legacies of the productivist/developmental welfare regime. When it comes to redistribution impacts, the welfare state growth improved inequality among old age populations to a certain degree due to the introduction of the Basic Pension. On the other hand, welfare benefits for the working poor population has hardly been improved in spite of the growing welfare state. It can be said, therefore, that low-income working-age populations have been excluded from the growth of Korean welfare state. These groups are mostly in middle-old age, unemployed or precariously employed and half of them were female householders. The exclusion of these groups from the Korean welfare state shows that the growth of the Korean welfare state was unbalanced. To include the excluded into the Korean welfare state, it is necessary to increase non-insurance social provisions, extend the range of application of the social insurances, integrate income protection, employment service, and vocational training for the working poor, and combine universal and targeted welfare benefits.

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