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Several theorists - most notably Holliday - have argued that social policy in East Asia can be seen as distinctive because of its productive intent. This claim has not been exposed to sustained comparative empirical examination, partly because typologies of welfare are still largely drawn on the basis of measures of the protective, rather than productive, intent of welfare policies and partly because of a paucity of comparable data on East Asian nations. Here we present a classification of welfare state types that incorporates both the productive and protective elements of social policy. Using fuzzy set ideal-type analysis we explore data for a sample of 23 OECD countries in three time periods - 1994, 1998 and 2003 - including two key East Asian nations (Japan and South Korea). Our findings provide no evidence for the claim that East Asian nations offer a distinctive focus on productive welfare. Indeed, we argue that the USA provides the best example of the productive welfare type and, moreover, that Korea and Japan have moved away from this model in recent years. Meanwhile, we find that some other nations - notably the Scandinavian states - have begun to combine the productive and protective elements of welfare in a way that contradicts earlier claims that the two represent mutually exclusive directions for welfare states.

Full paper: Hudson_Kuhner_2009_productive_welfare.pdf

The Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s has provided not only the threats to the national economies in the region but also the unique opportunities to reform their welfare provisions. But the path that each country has taken in response to the increasingly globalised pressure is not necessarily uniform and in fact reflects a significant degree of diversity. This paper traces this development and examines whether countries in the region begin to develop their social policy provisions beyond the functional imperatives for economic development. Whether or not high levels of welfare spending harms economic performance has long been at the centre of debate within the welfare state development literature both at a theoretical and empirical level. While there has been no agreement on this debate, the emergence of the welfare state in East Asia with low levels of social spending and high economic growth rates with relatively good welfare outcomes has led some commentators to argue that the countries in the region provide a unique model of welfare arrangements, one of the most convincing, to date, has been the East Asian Productivist Welfare Regime. However, the productivist notion of welfare state development in East Asia has been increasingly problematic. Taking the cases of Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, this essay aims to contribute to this debate both at the theoretical and empirical level by critically examining the theoretical usefulness of the productivist/developmental approach and testing the hypothesis of whether or not social policy in the region is still largely framed by economic necessity.

This paper is to study the effect of globalization on welfare expenditures, especially expenditures for labor market programs, in three welfare regimes and the so-called East -Asian welfare regime.

There is generally a large body of researches(Sainsbury, 1999; Shin, 2000; Offe, 1987; Martin, 1998; Lee, 2003) insisting that globalization drove welfare states to active programs, so-called, 'back-to-work' programs(i.e. job training) out of passive programs for supporting the unemployed . However, empirical studies did not arrive to a consensus.

This paper is to analyze whether all the welfare states of the advanced industrial world, coping with globalization, directed their efforts towards active programs from passive ones. If not, how differently did they adapt to globalization? Which states spent more on active labor market programs and which states did not?

Also, what was the response of the East -Asian welfare regime to globalization? How did it differ from mature welfare states?

In this paper, seventeen OECD member states including Korea and Japan will be classify into the 'three welfare regimes'(Esping-Anderson, 1990) and East-Asian welfare regime for the institutional differences among welfare states to be considered. And we will perform multiple regression analyses to find out the effect of globalization on expenditures for labor market programs.

This paper tries to show how differently the East Asian welfare regime behaved in comparison with traditional welfare states in coping with globalization and to focus efforts on elaborating the analysis methods in order to assess an independent effect of globalization on expenditures on labor market programs.





Esping-Andersen. 1990. The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Princeton University Press.

Lee, Seok-Won. (2003). "Globalization and Welfare Policy: Empirical Analysis on OECD countries". Korean Policy Studies Review. vol. 12-1.

Martin, John, P. (1998). "What works among active labour market policies: Evidence from OECD countries' experiences". Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 35. Paris: OECD.

Offe, Claus. (1987). "Democracy against Welfare State?". Political Theory, vol. 15-4. 

Sainsbury, Roy. (1999). "The Aims of Social Security", in John Ditch, Introduction to Social Security: Policies, Benefits and Poverty. London: Routledge.

Shin, Dong-Myun. (2000). "Economic policy and social policy: policy-linkages in an era of globalization". International Social Welfare. vol. 9.