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306

E

UR

A

MERICA

(Förster & Tóth, 2000). Their reformed social policies are

characterized by high take-up rates of social security but limited

benefit levels, removal of subsidies on most goods and services, and

increasing privatization of health, social care and education

(Aidukaite, 2009; Deacon, 2000). At the same time, post-socialist

countries are quite diverse in terms of their social policies. Poland,

Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia have

undertaken most social-policy reform (Deacon, 2000).

Although youth unemployment has soared since 1989,

school-leavers are not entitled to insurance-based unemployment

benefits (Vodopivec

,

Wörgötter, & Raju, 2005). The average

replacement rates of unemployment benefits are lower than in

Nordic and Western European countries (OECD, 2015). Besides,

expenditures and resources allocated to active labor market

programs are quite limited (Kuddo, 2009).

Even though Esping-Andersen (1999) considered Taiwan,

Japan, and South Korea to be conservative regimes, others

(Holiday & Wilding, 2003; White & Goodman, 1998) have noted

that East Asian welfare systems are characterized by low social

expenditures, dependents’ reliance on the family, and productivist

welfare policies developed for economic growth and political

support. As opposed to social spending accounting for 23% to

32% of GDP in social democratic and conservative countries, in

2009-2010, total public social spending amounted to 10% of GDP

in Taiwan, 9% in South Korea, and 22% in Japan (Lue et al., 2014;

OECD, 2016). Initially, the Japanese, South Korean, and

Taiwanese welfare states targeted soldiers, veterans, and

government employees (Tang, 2000). After accelerating

democratization during the 1980s and 1990s, and weathering the

financial crisis between 1998 and the early 2000s, these

governments added occupational categories and disadvantaged

groups to social welfare programs. Nevertheless, the social

insurance-based welfare systems protect labor market insiders.

School-leavers, non-working individuals, and precarious workers