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Social Policies in an Age of Austerity

A Comparative Analysis of the US and Korea Edited by John Karl Scholz, Dean, College of Letters and Science and Nellie June Gray Professor of Economic Policy, University of Wisconsin at Madison, US, Hyungpyo Moon, Minister of Health and Welfare of the Republic of Korea and Senior Fellow, Korea Development Institute, Korea and Sang-Hyop Lee, Senior Fellow, East-West Center, Professor, Department of Economics and Director, Center for Korean Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa, US
Social Policies in an Age of Austerity is the first major publication on the topic, with a particular interest in the United States and the Republic of Korea. The authors of the ten chapters in this book review recent developments in social policies in OECD countries, with a focus on achieving greater effectiveness in public spending on social programs, under increasingly tight national budgets. The contributions cover social and fiscal policy and issues in labor market policy, in addition to the effectiveness of social insurance, education and antipoverty policy.
Extent: 320 pp
Hardback Price: $140.00 Web: $126.00
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 978 1 78471 756 8
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  • Asian Studies
  • Asian Economics
  • Asian Social Policy
  • Economics and Finance
  • Asian Economics
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Economics of Social Policy
In response to the global financial crisis, many OECD countries reduced public spending on social policies, with economists now often referring to ‘permanent austerity’. Long before the crisis, however, slow economic growth and population aging had already increased the need for rebalancing social expenditure and yet social protection was still far from adequate in many countries. Social Policies in an Age of Austerity is the first major publication on this important topic.

The authors of the ten chapters in this book review recent developments in social policies in OECD countries, focusing on the United States and the Republic of Korea, and examining the use of program evaluation in social policies and drawing lessons for policymakers. The contributions cover social and fiscal policy and issues in labor market policy, in addition to the effectiveness of social insurance, education and antipoverty policy.

The policies outlined and lessons provided in the book will continue to be valuable to governments, and scholars of advanced and developing countries for decades to come, and to research institutes involved in government and social policy.
‘South Korea is a recently rich country with dramatic demography – expensive children, very low fertility, long life and rapid population aging. Its policies and institutions must adjust rapidly to these new economic and demographic realities, and this excellent collection of studies of the welfare state in Korea, North America, and Europe will help guide Korean policymakers in this task.’
– Ronald Lee, University of California, Berkeley, US

‘This book explores a highly topical issue which is of immense importance throughout the world, in both advanced and developing countries. While the demand for social policies has grown strongly in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the fiscal space required for such policies has shrunk. On the basis of rigorous analysis and evidence, the authors of this path-breaking work provide concrete and specific directions for fiscally sustainable yet effective social policies that empower and protect the common citizen.’
– Donghyun Park, Asian Development Bank, Philippines
Contributors: D. Autor, B.-G. Chun, W. Chung, H. Kim, Y. Koh, A.B. Krueger, S.-H. Lee, H.-H. Li, H. Moon, D.W. Schanzenbach, J.K. Scholz, H. Yoo, J.P. Ziliak

Contents:

PART I SOCIAL AND FISCAL POLICY
1. Introduction and Overview
John Karl Scholz, Hyungpyo Moon and Sang-Hyop Lee

2. Tax and Spend: The Interplay of Fiscal and Social Policy
John Karl Scholz and Hsueh-Hsiang Li

3. The Social Safety Net in Korea: From Welfare to Workfare
Youngsun Koh

PART II ISSUES IN LABOR MARKET POLICY
4. Understanding Differences in Job Growth in Europe, Canada and the United States: What Went Wrong in the United States?
Alan B. Krueger

PART III SOCIAL INSURANCE AND POLICY EFFECTIVENESS
5. The Unsustainable Rise of the Disability Rolls in the United States: Causes, Consequences and Policy Options
David H. Autor

6. Expanding Coverage of the National Pension in Korea: The Effectiveness of the Matching Contribution Subsidy
Hyungpyo Moon

PART IV EDUCATION POLICY EFFECTIVENESS
7. Current Themes in Education Policy in the United States
Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

8. After-school Classes in Korea: Effects on the Demand for Private Tutoring and Academic Performance
Hisam Kim

PART V ISSUES IN ANTIPOVERTY PROGRAMS
9. Recent Developments in Antipoverty Policies in the United States
James P. Ziliak

10. Korea’s Basic Old-Age Pension and its Poverty Reduction Effects
Wankyo Chung

11. Effects of Government Subsidies on Investment by Small Companies
Bong Geul Chun and Hanwook Yoo

Index