Strengthening social cohesion in Korea

A policy toolkit for growth and social cohesion in KoreaOverview: Why is social cohesion an urgent issue in Korea?Korea’s legacy of “egalitarian growth”Factors increasing inequality in Korea in recent yearsLabour market dualismLow productivity in the service sector and small firmsThe limited effect of the tax/benefit system on income inequality and povertyChallenges to achieving social cohesionRapid population ageing and its impact on public social spendingThe question of North KoreaCoping with these challengesAdvance gradually and cautiously in expanding social welfare programmesPromote economic growthFinance rising social spending through tax measures that limit the impact on growthReferencesIncome distribution and poverty among the working-age population and implications for social welfare policiesIntroductionIncome distribution and poverty in Korea: An overviewLevels and trends of inequality and income povertyImportance of the labour market: Trends in wage distributionImportance of taxes and transfers: RedistributionKey features of the Korean social safety net for working-age peopleDevelopment of social expenditureKorea’s social safety net for the working-age population: Principal policy instrumentsThe National Basic Livelihood Security Programme (BLSP)Employment Insurance (EI)The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)Income adequacy of the Korean social safety net for working-age peopleThe National Basic Livelihood Security Programme (BLSP)Employment Insurance (EI)In-work povertyAccess to safety net benefitsThe impact of taxes and benefits on work incentivesAre people trapped in poverty by the BLSP?Policies to improve returns from employmentAre incentives stronger for EI recipients?Additional barriers to taking up employmentChild care and child rearing supportsIntersection of withdrawal criteria and lump-sum withdrawalNotesReferencesPolicies to tackle labour market duality in KoreaIntroductionLabour market duality in Korea: Overview of a complex phenomenonNon-regular workThe underdevelopment of the service sector and smaller firmsMobility of non-regular workersIs Korean labour market dualism different?The policy rationale for reducing labour market duality Reducing inequalityPromoting growthComplexity of the policy challengePolicies to reduce overall labour market dualityItalyMexicoSpainEmployment protection legislationNon-regular workersRegular workersSeverance paymentsLink to the OECD indicator of employment protectionPolicies to narrow wage differentialsAnti-discrimination legislationStatutory minimum wageStrengthening the role of activation policies to raise employabilityImproving job-search assistanceExpanding social security coverage for non-regular workersSpill over effects on the efforts to reduce the size of the informal economyImproving the industrial and labour relations frameworkPolicies targeted on groups particularly disadvantaged by labour market dualismWomenLabour market barriers confronting womenPolicies to promote “family friendly” workplacesOlder workersEarly retirement results in underemployment for many senior workersPolicies to improve the position of older workers in the labour marketYouthLabour market difficulties affecting youthPolicies to reduce mismatch by improving vocational education and trainingUnited KingdomNotesReferencesCombined early childhood education and care measures to ensure social cohesionIntroductionClarifying ECECpolicy goalsAn overview of expected outcomes of ECECpolicy for KoreaReviewing equity measures outcomes and identifying policy issuesFinancial burden on parents for better ECEC outcomesStronger relationship between family background and student outcomesDifferent standards for staff qualityCurriculum and pedagogyStaff qualification and education contentsStaff-child ratioPolicy issues related to female labour market outcomes and demographic challengesLow female labour force participationTargeted and/or universal accessDemand-side and/or supply-sideThe low fertility rateReviewing public responsibility and investment, and identifying policy issuesLow public spending on early childhood education and careLow public spending on child benefits (cash or tax credits)ConclusionsNotesReferencesMoving from hospitals to primary care for chronic diseasesIntroductionDefining primary careThe health system faces looming challengesLife expectancy has improved dramatically in Korea in recent decadesKorea’s substantial elderly population is likely to live longer and suffer from multiple chronic diseasesRisky health behaviours amongst the population today may mean that more Koreans will face chronic diseasesHigh avoidable hospital admissions point towards weaknesses in primary careKorea also faces major challenges in mental health and primary careKorea’s health system is geared towards hospitals and not primary careHospitals dominate the health systemGatekeeping in the Korean health care system is weakThe boundaries between primary and secondary care are blurredThe way Korea pays providers encourages greater activity rather than improved health outcomesGetting the building blocks right: Payments, flexible institutions and workforceMoving away from fee-for-service paymentsDelivering targeted funding to primary care requires the National Health Insurance to be a proactive purchaser not a passive payorDeveloping a workforce for primary careDeveloping support for primary health care: Professional societies, guidelines, and information for patient self-managementA Korean model of primary care: Multi-specialty group practices (polyclinics)Encouraging hospitals to vertically integrate may be the optimal policy, but is likely to be difficult to achieveTeam-based clinics are an appropriate starting point for strengthening primary care servicesHowever, these team-based clinics ought to be staffed by specialists, not generalistsReferences
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