Globalization and Multifaceted Welfare State Attitudes: Evidence from South Korea
45 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 9, 2017
How does economic globalization influence individuals’ welfare attitudes? We part ways with the literature whose focus has been on identifying the losers and exploring whether and to what extent they demand government compensation. By intersecting two dimensions of globalization perceptions – (1) winners and losers and (2) national and individual effects –, we propose four types of citizens: collective winner, lone winner, lone loser, and collective loser. We argue that the typology allows us to systematically explore how economic globalization provokes three widely-discussed, distinctive motives behind welfare demand: insurance-seeking, equality-seeking as well as compensation-seeking. We examine our theoretical expectations with the case of South Korea, where we survey social spending preferences under different hypothetical scenarios of fiscal constraint and recipient targeting. We find consistent support for the insurance-seeking motive: lone winners who see potential risks of economic globalization are most likely to support welfare spending as an attempt to insure against the vagaries ex-ante. Our findings have implications for the direction of welfare state development under globalization.
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