A Study of the Welfare Mix in Korea

한국의 복지혼합에 관한 연구

  • 신동면 (이화여자대학교 사회과학대학 두뇌한국21사업 교육연구단)
  • Published : 2001.05.30


In order to understand the provision of social welfare in Korea, this study puts forward a method to measure and tracks the welfare mix, and applies the method to Korea. This is the goal of this study, which is in three parts. First, I critically review the concept of welfare pluralism and develop the welfare mix model, Second, I present a methodology and technique for measuring and systematically comparing the components of the welfare mix. Third, I examine the roles of five welfare providers including state, market, non-profit organization, enterprise and family in the welfare mix of Korea. This study argues that the welfare mix in Korea has some characteristics of 'residual state, expanded market, negligible voluntary sector, and protective family'. The state in Korea has played a relatively little role in the provision of social welfare, enforcing most Koreans being with a meagre social protection. Thus, most of the 'left' needs for social welfare has to be met in the private sector composed of market and enterprises. In addition, in a situation that self/mutual help through family or community is encouraged, the family has played an important role in the welfare mix. But the role of voluntary sector in the welfare mix has remained negligible. Consequently, the characteristics of the welfare mix in Korea can be best described by a welfare society rather than a welfare state.