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A Social Investment Turn in East Asia?

A Social Investment Turn in East Asia?

South Korea in Comparative Perspective

(p.266) 24 A Social Investment Turn in East Asia?
The Uses of Social Investment
Timo FleckensteinSoohyun Christine Lee
Oxford University Press

The welfare states of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan were built by conservative elites to serve the project of late industrialization, and for this reason the East Asian developmental welfare state focused its resources on those who were deemed most important for economic development (especially male industrial workers). Starting in the 1990s and increasingly since the 2000s, the developmental welfare state has experienced a far-reaching transformation, including the expansion of family policy to address the post-industrial challenges of female employment participation and low fertility. This chapter assesses social investment policies in East Asia, with a focus on family policy and on the South Korean case, where the most comprehensive rise of social investment policies were observed.

Keywords:   developmental welfare state, East Asia, family policy, South Korea, economic development, fertility, female employment participation

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