Since Esping-Andersen presented the three worlds of welfare typology thesis, the study of the classification of welfare regimes has been dominated by his work and the debates surrounding it. This article is concerned with two important responses to his work. The first response is the development of welfare typologies based on the principle of decommodification. The second response is the concern that East Asian countries are underrepresented in the 18 members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) studied by Esping-Andersen. As a result, there are calls for expanding the scope of the studies on the classification of welfare regimes to those in East Asia. This article makes contributions to these two responses by presenting two analytical tasks. The first task is to develop two health decommodification typologies based on two different methods (cluster analysis and Esping-Andersen's index-based regime construction). Both of them cover the 18 OECD members studied by Esping-Andersen and four tiger economies (Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore). The second task is to demonstrate that the two health decommodification typologies provide important information for the debate on the existence of two essential preconditions for the development of an all-encompassing East Asian welfare regime, namely the existence of significant differences in the welfare systems between the East Asian countries and the 18 OECD countries studied by Esping-Andersen (1990) and the existence of significant similarities in the welfare systems between East Asian countries.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration
- Cluster analysis
- East Asian welfare regime
- Health decommodification typology