This dissertation seeks to examine the increased reliance on debt as an important feature of U.K. and South Korea welfare regime, in the context of growing economic inequality. The main purpose of the study is to develop an understanding of how the broader neoliberal shift from the welfare state to the market has led low-income families to rely increasingly not only the labour but also on the market for credit for financial resources especially for young adults years between 1998 and 2017. It is because, research has shown that young adults (age between 18 – 34 years old) who reply on debt are less likely escape poverty in later life and it seems one of the significant reasons for broadening inequality in society. And years between 1998 and 2017, there are major economic crisis in each country, 1997 Asian crisis impact badly in South Korea, and 2008 financial crisis in U.K. Then, although the detail situation at that in each country were different, South Korea damaged more by 1998 Asian crisis while U.K. was in more serious situation in 2008 comparably, both countries tried to applied similar welfare strategies, for example from 1998, when left wing were in power in both country, they both try ‘third way’ welfare policies, and similar things also happened in 2008.
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For scholars of inequality, for South Korea, the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis for South Korea and for the U.K. the 2008 financial crisis made clear that debt and credit had come to play a central role in the well-being of their people. Amidst the expansion of credit in recent decades, debt has become a key economic resource for household to meet such needs as housing, education, and other consumption. Although the economic situation in general was different, for young adults with debt, the real median value of their debt holding nearly tripled from 1998 to 2017. Considering this reliance on credit to maintain the well-being of people, debt has come to play a critical role in welfare provision. The significant of this shift must be understood in relation to two important social phenomena that took place (especially during this period); increasing economic inequality and important changes in the welfare state of the U.K. and South Korea.
According to a variety of measures, economic inequality has increased since 1980s in the U.K. and since 1997 in South Korea. The distribution of earning has become increasingly unequal, as incomes at the top have grown rapidly while earnings in the middle and the low end have remained relatively stagnant, barely keeping up with economic growth. Wealth has also become increasingly concentrated at the high end of the distribution. At the same time, state policy has become less redistributive and social safety net programmes have generally weakened in both countries.
The transformation of the welfare state in recent decades has been a major area of research across a number of areas of social science. The changing shape of welfare policy is often placed in the context of a broader ‘neoliberal’ transformation of their country’s economy and social institutions. From this perspective, the primary features of the changing welfare state are typically described as:
- A fundamental retrenchment of the welfare state, involving a decline in social benefits and less redistributive policy; and
- An increased emphasis on the market in its place, particularly the labour market.
An enormous body of research has been concerned with the implications of these changes for the well-being of low-income young adults, during a period of increasing inequality. Considering the growing reliance on debt among low income young adults over this period, credit has become an increasingly important source of financial resources, beyond labour market earnings and transfer income. Despite these changes, there has been little theoretical and empirical scholarship on the reliance on debt as an important feature of the U.K. and South Korea welfare regime.
This aims of this dissertation are threefold.
- The primary purpose is to contribute an understanding of how, in the context of the broader neoliberal shift from the welfare state to market, low-income young adults (between 18- 34 years old) are dependent not just on the labour market, but also on the market for credit between 1998 and 2017 in U.K. and South Korea as they increasingly rely on debt for their well-being.
- This study analyses macro- and micro-level quantitative data to understand relationship between social benefits and debt in the lives of low-income young adults in U.K. and South Korea.
- The dissertation also examines the social stratification of the increased reliance on debt over time.
To shed light on the problem, this dissertation addresses a series of research questions.
- To what extent does debt serve as a substitute for transfer income in the finances of low-income young adults?
- What is the role of state policy in the increased reliance on debt among the poor?
- What are the long-term trajectories in debt for young adults and how are these socially stratified?
- Literature Review
Focus on the research question, for the literature Review, “transformation of the U.K. welfare state between 1998 and 2017 and Transformation of welfare state between 1998 and 2017 in South Korea” is needed. (May can be focus on young adults welfare policy)
For the organisation, you may can divide into U.K. and South Korea and then in the section can be divided by two period;
Year between 1998 and 2007 Under New Labour
Year 2007 to 2017 under Conservative government
Also for South Korea 1998 to 2008 under Left wing government
2009 to 2017 under Conservative government
Please write around same amount of words for each country..