Economic development, Social Condition, and Social Welfare Development : An International Comparison of Social Welfare Development

경제수준, 사회수준, 그리고 사회복지수준 : 국제간 사회복지수준 비교

  • Published : 2003.11.30


This paper compares two indicators, economic development and social condition, to find a better way to measure the level of social welfare development. The results show that social condition is more adequate indicator than economic development. The social condition has high correlation with the development of social welfare in all the 78 countries as well as in five groups of countries when the economic development is controlled. The comparison of two indicators reveals important findings. Among other things, the higher the level of social condition compared with economic development, the larger the social welfare expenditure. This tendency is particularly strong among the western European countries and former socialist countries. This result implies that the macro-level policy of social redistribution is also important for the development of social welfare in addition to micro-level policy of income redistribution. As we expected, the results show that the level of Korean social welfare development is very low. Considering our levels of economic development and social condition, predicted social welfare expenditure from regression model is at least 17% of GDP, but we are spending only 30% of this predicted expenditure. Another serious problem in Korean social welfare is unbalanced expenditure between social insurance and public assistance. On the basis of these results, this paper suggests three implications for social policy to improve Korean social welfare: First of all, the gap between predicted and actual expenditures should be closed to improve the minimum level of social welfare. Secondly, the level of social condition itself should be improved to increase the public awareness of social welfare. Finally, the wide difference in expenditure between universal and selective social welfare programs should also be removed to decrease the relative deprivation of the poor.


comparison of social welfare development;level of social welfare