Journal Article

The East Asian welfare state debate and surrogate social policy: an exploratory study on Japan and South Korea<sup>†</sup>

Pil Ho Kim

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 8, issue 3, pages 411-435
Published in print July 2010 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online March 2010 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwq003
The East Asian welfare state debate and surrogate social policy: an exploratory study on Japan and South Korea†

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  • Moral Philosophy
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The welfare states in East Asia have been widely considered underdeveloped. Since the definition and measurements of social policy and the welfare state are subject to change depending on the specific historical, political and economic context, the welfare underdevelopment thesis deserves scrutiny. In Japan, Korea and Taiwan, agricultural protection and enterprise welfare, among others, have been surrogates of conventional welfare policies. As a way of critically engaging in the debate over the East Asian welfare model, this paper focuses on these two areas of surrogate social policy and explores their empirical basis with the OECD data on Japan and Korea. The result shows that surrogate social policy measures such as producer support estimates for agricultural protection and mandatory private social spending for enterprise welfare add up to make a difference between the East Asian countries and the other OECD members. This suggests a distinct political-economic model for East Asian social welfare.

Keywords: Asia; public expenditures; public policy; redistribution; regional economies; welfare state; I38 government policy; provision and effects of welfare programs

Journal Article.  9067 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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