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Convergence With A Twist: East Asian Welfare Capitalism In Comparative Perspective

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals exclusively with social policy arrangements found in the region, and it restricts itself to the five presently most advanced exemplars of East Asian welfare capitalism, i.e. Japan and the four ?tigers.? The main function of Singapore?s Central Provident Fund (CPF), which is a compulsory savings scheme for employees, is to set aside a limited amount of money that can be drawn upon after retirement. Gilbert (2002) has argued that the (Western) welfare state is undergoing a transformation that goes beyond mere adjustments, because it changes its very nature. Health care and education are two fields in which East Asia can teach continental Europe important lessons. Without a good education, people are increasingly marginalised in the labour market, and this is true especially of highwage economies, because in such economies many unskilled or lowskilled workers become virtually unemployable.

Keywords: East Asian welfare capitalism; education; Europe; Gilbert; health care; Japan; labour market; Singapore; welfare state



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