South Korea’s Social Policy Response to Covid-19: Swift and Bipartisan Attempts

Research output: Working paper


The paper maps out South Korea’s key social policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic based on an analysis of legislation and budget proposals adopted between January 2020 and September 2020. Both data sources indicate that the South Korean government clearly utilized social policy tools to mitigate the damage incurred by the pandemic. First, eight out of 32 social policy laws were explicitly designed in response to the pandemic. Second, an unprecedented four rounds of supplementary budgets were approved to protect both the economic and public health of the people. In light of the speed and the degree of political consensus vis-à-vis comparable years in the past, it is clear that South Korea’s social policy response to Covid-19 was swift and bipartisan. Moreover, judging by the country’s previous experience of turning “a crisis” into “an opportunity” for welfare expansion, the current pandemic has the potential to lead to a consolidation of South Korea’s welfare state.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBremen
PublisherCollaborative Research Centre 1342
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2021

Publication series

NameCRC 1342 Covid-19 Social Policy Response Series
ISSN (Print)2702-6744


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