Research in Brief

The Composition and Trends of Korea’s Expenditure on Disability Policies: A Comparison with Other OECD Countries

  • Author

    Oh, Ukchan

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In 2020, Korea spent 0.83 percent of its GDP on disability policies, just over one-third of the OECD average. Disability benefits in kind as a share of GDP have approximated the OECD average, but disability cash benefits constituted less than a quarter of the OECD average as a share of GDP. Despite Korea’s overall public social expenditure fast approaching the OECD average, spending on disability increased only at such a relatively moderate pace that it is hard to expect that it will soon reach a proportion anywhere near considered in balance with the rest of public social expenditure. Korea’s spending on disability policies remaining at such low levels as a share of GDP is attributable to disability assistance programs remaining low in both coverage and benefit level. Unless substantial changes are made to disability cash assistance, which as a share of GDP still falls far below the OECD average, Korea’s overall spending on disability policies is likely to remain low compared to the OECD average.


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