This research examines two topics. The first is the processes in which Asian societies, since their independence, introduced the first wave of social welfare policies including workmen's compensation, health, pension, unemployment, and family allowanc ...
This research examines two topics. The first is the processes in which Asian societies, since their independence, introduced the first wave of social welfare policies including workmen's compensation, health, pension, unemployment, and family allowances. The results suggest the following. First, there is no single, homogeneous process in which all societies went through in developing their welfare systems. The processes of welfare state formation in Asian societies show sequences that are different from those of Western societies. Also, within Asian societies, the processes vary with such factors as the timing of independence or modernization, regions, and the timing of the introduction of the first welfare program. Such results suggest the importance of sociological and historical understanding of welfare sequences and the effects of institutional diffusion and isomorphism in Asian welfare state formation.
The second one is typology of welfare state in Asia. Increasing number of studies has focused on categorizing Asian countries based on welfare programs. However, they relied on typologies based on Western countries or covered only a small number of Asian countries. A few studies examined Asian countries without the Western counterparts. As an alternative, we examined the overall development of the welfare programs of the 9 Asian countries and 17 Western countries together. For the comparative study including both Western and Asian countries, we need new standard because the data from the given-studies do not encompass Asian countries. We developed a welfare state typology with the contents of welfare programs (program types, benefits, eligibility, coverage, financing, and education). First, we compared the previous typologies of welfare states and our typology based on the western countries. Second, we applied our typology to both Western and the Asian countries to see a possibility of unique Asian models. Finally, we examined similarities and differences within the Asian countries.
We get five groups in the analysis including both Asian and Western countries together: first, Australia and Hong Kong; second, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore; third, Austria, Belgium, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan; fourth, France, Germany, and Spain; fifth, Denmark and Sweden. We found that not only the Asian countries tend to be different from the Western types, but also found three groups within the Asian countries. The first one is Hong Kong: its mandatory occupational account program in old age pension is a key factor. The second group includes Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, which have provident fund systems. The last group is all the other countries with a strong development of social insurance programs.