Kim JW, Choi YJ. Does family still matter? Public and private transfers in emerging welfare state systems in a comparative perspective
Int J Soc Welfare 2010: ••: ••–••© 2010 The Author(s), International Journal of Social Welfare © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the International Journal of Social Welfare.
While the role of the family has been a distinctive feature of East Asian welfare systems, rapid social policy development and reforms in South Korea and Taiwan over the last two decades have led to an increase in public welfare. Yet, despite a growing number of studies, little is known about the role of family support – private transfers – and public programmes in the performance of state welfare. This article reports on a comparative analysis of the role of public and private transfers aimed at poverty and inequality reduction in 12 Western and two East Asian states employing the Luxemburg Income Study data set. Results indicate that, in contrast to the West, private transfers that rest primarily on family support remain more important than public transfers in reducing income inequality and poverty in South Korea and Taiwan.