Analysis on the unequal welfare service distribution among local governments in Korea

Chan Dong Koo, Heung Ju Kim, Pan Suk Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study analyzes the inequality of service distribution of Korea's local welfare services including basic living security, childcare, and senior care services in terms of territorial justice. Using Korea's welfare finance database from the Korean Institute for Health and Social Affairs, the units and resources of local governments, annual tendencies and factors of inequality are investigated by employing the welfare expenditure per service consumer as a measurement index. The results show that inequality is high in the expenditures of Si (city), Gun (county), and Gu (district) governments per service consumer, with grants from upper governments excluded. It is lessened when the budget includes the aid of the central government, which implies that the assistance of the central government plays a role in resolving the unequal expenditure distribution per service consumer. High inequality in the self-funded expenditure of Si, Gun, and Gu governments hints to wide regional gaps caused by differences in the financial independence of local governments which will affect social welfare services provided by local governments. Therefore, welfare programs need to be fully financed by the central government in light of territorial justice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-248
Number of pages24
JournalLex Localis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Administration
  • Law


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