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Income Inequality and Support for Welfare Policy, Using Seoul Welfare Panel Survey Data (2008-2010)

  • Korean Society and Public Administration
  • Abbr : KSPA
  • 2012, 22(4), pp.411-440
  • Publisher : Seoul Association For Public Administration
  • Research Area : Social Science > Public Administration

백승주 1 Kum, Hyunsub 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper seeks empirical evidence to test whether the median voter theorem (MVT) (Meltzer and Richard, 1981) is applicable or a relevant explanatory framework in accounting for the relationship between income inequality and support for welfare policy in Korea. Towards this end, we review the MVT and alternative models including those of Moene and Wallerstein (2001), Husted (1989), and Benabou (2000), and suggest the relationship can be separated into two stages following Kelly and Enns (2010): First, the relationship between inequality and policy preferences, and second, the transformation of policy preferences into policy proposals. Using Seoul Welfare Panel survey data and various inequality measures, we focus upon and test the first stage of the relationship, firstly, through a cross regional comparison across 25 municipal governments in Seoul, and secondly, through a comparison of serial changes in inequality and policy preferences in each of the municipalities. The findings show that higher inequality tends to be coupled with higher support for welfare policy across regions as well as across time in Seoul and offer tentative support for the MVT.

Citation status

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