A New Paradigm for Social Welfare in the New Millennium

by Lee-Jay Cho, Hyungpyo Moon, Yoon Hyung Kim, and Sang-Hyop Lee (eds.)

Tiger Books

Publisher: Seoul: Korea Development Institute
Available From: Korea Development Institute
Publication Date: November 2005
ISBN: 89-8063-228-2
Binding: paper


The Asian economic crisis drew attention to the urgent need for reforming social welfare programs. Korea survived the brunt of the economic crisis, but is still faced with numerous socioeconomic problems that emerged during and after the crisis period. These problems call for substantial reform in welfare programs.

The demand for action to resolve these problems reached a peak with the turn of the new millennium. At the same time, the phenomena of globalization, knowledge-based economies, and the aging populations were emerging as leading economic concerns with direct impacts on welfare.

These newly evolving concepts offer us numerous intertwined ideas for revamping social welfare programs. Further integration of Korea's economy into world markets, for example, offers promises of continuing growth, but such integration could also become a cause of worker reallocation and increased inequality. As knowledge-embedded human capital becomes a crucial determinant of employability, labor-market demand for the less educated and the elderly will deteriorate. Moreover, while the global spread of public health technology has played a key role in worldwide gains in life expectancy, the burdens of an enlarged, aging population will be shifted onto a proportionately smaller working-age population.

This book offers a comparative review of these problems and of welfare reforms that have already been tried, together with proposals for reforms that could be introduced to guarantee the most important human needs. The underlying objective of the authors is to assess how governments can reform existing efforts and design new programs to maintain efficiency and equity, while simultaneously ensuring continuous economic growth and minimizing social conflicts.