East Asian Welfare States in Transition
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Summaries After the spectacular economic crisis of late 1997, there has been a call for social welfare reform as well as economic restructuring in East Asia. Covering Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, this article first seeks to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the East Asian welfare states. Second, it examines the pressures for reform of the welfare systems. Finally, it addresses the question of whether the low spending East Asian welfare regimes will be maintained in the future. The strength.of the East Asian welfare states mainly lies in their promotion of an ideology of developmentalism and their relatively low cost; while their weakness is that they tend to reinforce socio?economic inequalities. Economic recession and socio?economic pressures as well as inefficiencies within the welfare states create pressure for change. The governments in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have responded with reform measures appropriate to these nations' social and political context. Despite different policy responses, the welfare states in these countries will become more expensive, although they will remain low spenders among the developed nations.
CitationKwon, H.,?j. (1999) East Asian Welfare States in Transition . IDS Bulletin 30(4): 82-93
Is part of seriesIDS Bulletin Vol. 30 Nos. 4
Rights holder© 1999 Institue of Development Studies
- Volume 30, Issue 4