Abstracts & Papers in Stream 3

While Esping-Andersen's three-worlds model provides a pioneering and heuristic typology for comparative study of welfare regime, this article argues that some basic theoretical revisions have to be done in order to reach a better understanding on postwar Chinese welfare regime. The reason for doing so is because Esping-Andersen's analysis is based on historical experience of European capitalist development, which is related with but quite different from Chinese 'welfare capitalism'. In Mao's era, China carried out state-controlled capital accumulation in which people' labor was heavily regulated by the state, rather than market. Although Chinese society was almost completely 'decommodified' under this system, it did not render people social citizenship in the original connotation of Esping-Andersen's decommodification as people's wage and welfare was still heavily controlled and unequally distributed according to the development plan set by the state. This unequal welfare distribution is reinforced by the introduction of 'socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics' after mid-1980s when past public provision of welfare quickly faded and a new market-centric welfare system has not been built up. This sets the background of rapid development of Chinese welfare reform around the turn of the century. By examining Chinese rural medical scheme, this article argues that Chinese welfare regime is a 'conservative' one in the sense that market operation is still heavily governed and welfare provision is unequally distributed and segregated through state policy in pursuit of capital accumulation. 

Full paper download: 2.3.4 Hung-Jeng Tsai.pdf

The aim of this paper is to explore the transformation of work-family balance policies in Taiwan in recent ten years. In response to the changes of circumstances in family structure, labour market, fertility pattern, and so on, the Taiwanese government has implemented a series of policy changes to facilitate work-family balance. These policies involve the restructuring of childcare responsibilitiesbetween the state, the family,and the market.

The focus of this paper will be on two policy areas: leave policies and Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) policies. The main issues which this paper attempts to address are the forms of changes in the two policy areas and the factors which lead to these changes. In terms of leave policies, this paper will review the enactment of Gender Equality in Employment Law and the implementation of parental leave benefit. It will compare the policy making processes of the two policies and analyse the factors which make them different.  In the area of ECEC policies, this paper willillustrate the development of ECEC policies in three policy dimensions: finance, regulation, and provision. Moreover, it will provide explanations on why thesepolicies show different levels of changes in the three dimensions.

This paper will explain policy changes through the perspectives of institutions and ideas. It aims to explore how previous policy framework, policy ideas and discourses, and the interaction between them affect the policy making. The findings of this paper would be helpful to understand the transformation of the Taiwanese welfare system and the process of welfare reform.

There is a totally public state regime in China after 1949, which means that all kinds of providers, heavy industry, light industry, social welfare service and so on, are state-owned organizations. How public sector transfers is an inevitable crossroad for social service reform in China.
Taking public health service in China as an example, this research answers how the public healthcare provision system in China turns out to be a plural structure, which is a common approach of social welfare provision in west developed industry countries. Policy documents are used to study the effect of government intervention on public hospitals, and the interaction of government and public hospitals.
Findings suggest: (1) government encourages public provider service to provide more new service items, even including comfortable and expensive hospitalization; (2) government allows public hospitals to take commercial investment, which transits public organizations into public-private joint-stock enterprises in nature. Public sector only keeps nominal public property-right. In the new century, there is a new stage of public sector reform by a reverse transformation. Government emphasis social responsibility of public sector and encourage private providers growing up to meet the non primary healthcare demand.
The devious road of public sector reform in China is an extension of China's reform of its social welfare provision system. The above findings provide evidences on the responsibility of government and public sector regulation in social welfare services. It is important reference for decision-makers in the new round of public service reform in the coming future.

Full paper download: 2.3.3 Wen Feng.pdf

Healthcare has been put at the top of the agenda and a primary political, economic and social issue in many countries. It has been a focus of international concern especially in the post-1975 era when welfare states worldwide entered into the era of retrenchment. In the aspect of healthcare, governments have been facing a dilemma over healthcare financing: how to improve the health status of the population and deliver better medical services while containing the growth in healthcare spending caused by ageing population, higher user expectations, and rising medical costs.

With the financial sustainability of the healthcare system being questioned, the Hong Kong government has been releasing a number of public consultation documents on healthcare financing reform and a discussion paper: Towards Better Health (1993), Improving Hong Kong's Health Care System: Why and For Whom? (1999), The Lifelong Investment in Health (2000), Building a Healthy Tomorrow (discussion paper) (2005), Your Health, Your Life (2008), and My Health, My Choice (2010). However, none of the financing options proposed before 2008 has gained majority support. The consultation exercise on the option of voluntary health insurance proposed in 2010 ended in January 2011 and the government is collating and analyzing the views gathered from consultation. This study will use the theory of historical institutionalism to examine how institutions, together with multiple internal and external factors or being taken place inside particular political, economic, social and cultural contexts in Hong Kong structure interactions that generate distinctive national trajectory of healthcare financing policy over time. It will also examine how the case study of Hong Kong contributes to the theory of historical institutionalism and welfare regimes. 

Full paper download: 2.3.1 Sabrina Ching Yuen Luk.pdf