Welfare State Development in East Asia: A Cross-Continental Comparison


Yasuhiro Kamimura, Nagoya University

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Abstract: The last quarter century has witnessed the rapid transformation of welfare states in East Asia. It is, however, impossible to capture the magnitude of this change if we limit our focus to East Asia. In this paper, I will compare the welfare systems of East Asian countries with those of other regions. To begin with, this paper will outline the current conditions of economic inequality and social protection in East Asia. Next, I will address the importance of a normative standpoint in comparative studies of welfare states, and recommend focusing on the coverage of social protection. There will be an examination of the substitution of welfare states by firms and families, as well as its associated limitations. Finally, I will argue the necessity and challenges of welfare state extension in East Asia.

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