S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Center for Social Sciences (사회과학연구원) Korean Social Sciences Review (KSSR) Korean Social Sciences Review (KSSR) Vol.02, No.01-02 (2012)
A Comparative Social Policy Study on the Structure and Characteristics of the Korean Welfare State: Focusing on the Analysis of Public Social Expenditures
- Baek, Seung Ho; Ahn, Sang Hoon
- Issue Date
- Korean Social Sciences Review(KSSR), Vol.2 No.2, pp. 63-92
- Characteristics of the Korean Welfare State; Cash Benefits, Selectivism; Private Expenditure; Spending on those of Non-Working Age; Comparative Social Policy; Korea
- Translated from the article published in Korean Journal of Social Welfare Studies 35, 2007 with permission from the Korea Association for Social Welfare Studies.
- The aim of this study is to identify the characteristics of the welfare state in Korea by analyzing the trend of public social expenditure since 1970. To understand and in contrast to previous studies, I examine public social expenditure was divided into cash and social services spending; selective spending; public and private expenditure; and expenditure on those of working age and non-working age. These same criteria were also applied to cluster analysis of 20 OECD countries to identify the characteristics specific to the Korean welfare state.
The following are the findings of this analysis. First, the paradigm of welfare state has not changed since 1970. Second, the Korean welfare state was developed mainly in terms of cash spending; this imbalanced development was expected to grow with the maturation of the national pension system. Third, since the mid 1990s, the Korean welfare state adopted a selectivist approach based on means-test and it has favored a structural development of selectivism. Fourth, the welfare state in Korea relied on private finance while private spending was expected to undergo structural development after 2003. Fifth, spending by the Korean welfare state was more focused on those of non-working age than people at working age. Sixth, cluster analysis revealed that Korea still lags in terms of its welfare state and its heavier dependence on private finance.