Effectiveness of Social Welfare Programmes in East Asia: A Case Study of Taiwan

Chien Chung Huang, Yeun Wen Ku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Using the 2008 Family Income and Expenditure Survey, this study examined the effectiveness of social welfare programmes in Taiwan. The empirical evidence shows that most types of social welfare spending were limited in 2008. However, the social welfare programmes that were in place substantially reduced income inequality in Taiwan. Using the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) poverty threshold, the results reveal that 14 per cent of the sample's families were poor in terms of market income, but this figure decreased to 7 per cent after government intervention. Income inequality in Taiwan was similar to that of other East Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea, but Taiwan spent much less money on social welfare programmes than OECD countries, and therefore Taiwan's reduction of poverty was much lower as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-751
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


  • Effectiveness
  • Income inequality
  • Poverty
  • Social welfare
  • Taiwan


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